Think about where you are.
Now think about how you got there.
All the things that had happen for you to be sitting where you are right now. All the things that had to go right, all the things that had to go wrong. A million billion moments that broke one way when they could have broken the other, all of them leading you to the place you are at this very second: sitting in your cube, or on your couch, or in your bed, or in someone else’s bed.
I met my now ex-wife at a Halloween party in South Minneapolis in 1999 that neither of us were supposed to attend. I was friends with someone who was friends with someone who was friends with the host and I got dragged along at the last minute. She knew the guys in the band that were playing the party and got asked at the 11th hour to help them drive their equipment into the city. We happened to be waiting in line for the bathroom together. The rest is history. We were together for 19 years.
Over those 19 years, I thought about that night a lot. All that had to happen for me to get there, for her to get there, for us to meet. All the twists and turns that led us to that party and in line for that upstairs bathroom at the very same time. And how different my life would have been if, say, one tiny thing had gone differently and one of us never made it to the party. I would lie awake at night and think: I could have never gone to that party, and we never would have met, and nothing would be the same. And it would have been so simple, so easy: one tiny decision altered and one of us isn’t there that night. Nothing monumental either, not some big life choice, but something minuscule: what if my friend and I decide to get a drink before heading to the party? That’s all it would have taken.
That night, and all that got me there, changed my life forever. I am 42 years old. That night defined my life for 19 of them. And will define my life for the rest of my days, even though we are no longer together. Because without her other life events don’t happen: jobs, trips, college, dogs, friends.
One night. A lifetime. And everything in it. For good or for bad, it’s reality.
Today in Dubai India beat Bangladesh with the last ball of the last over. 50 overs; 300 deliveries; a pitch of random holes, seams, bumps, creases; wind; humidity.
Nine batsmen, six bowlers, 11 fielders. Humans. Flawed, perfect humans.
All of that. But still. Exactly 300 deliveries later, India win, somehow. All that could have changed, every ball that could have zigged when it zagged. Every mistake, every moment of brilliance, all somehow leading them to that last ball, those leg byes trundling down toward the boundary rope, giving India the Cup.
It’s amazing, when you think about it. All that could have been different, yet somehow wasn’t.
What a game.
What a life.
What a world.