The Butterfly Effect

I am simply amazed at how some seemingly inconsequential actions in our lives can lead to such drastic changes in our life’s course.  There are a number of examples one can think of if they ponder long enough.  For instance, I could argue that something as simple as visiting a particular website eventually led to my current career, marriage, child, as well as much of my identity and who I’ve become in terms of my philosophical beliefs and what I care about in life.  In short, visiting one particular website eventually formed who I am at this time as an adult.  Allow me to explain briefly.

After graduating high school, I was still living at home, and often surfing the internet.  I didn’t have any concrete plans for going to college, and ended up not going to college until a couple years after graduating high school.  During this “educational intermission”, my best friend at the time introduced me to a social networking website called “Face The Jury”.  He found it to be a great platform for meeting women, and I decided to indulge myself and try it out.  It was here that I met my soon-to-be girlfriend.  We finally got together for the first time, and after having a good time and enjoying ourselves, we hung out a few more times, continued to develop the relationship, and eventually moved in together.  This happened to be my first time moving out and away from “home”; that famous rite of passage many experience as part of their quest to becoming an adult.

After meeting my new girlfriend’s family and becoming more acquainted with everyone, I got into a serious conversation with her and her parents about going back to school.  Had I not had this conversation with them, I can safely say that I would have taken a bit more time off before re-entering any form of institutionalized education, and I have no idea what would have happened years down the road.  So my “intermission” ended and I finally began my college education.  It was around this time, that my relationship with my girlfriend began to take a downward spiral.  We simply weren’t meant to be with one another, but after having sustained a relationship for a couple of years, we tried to salvage it, despite the difficulties we were encountering.  All relationships tend to have periods of difficulty, so I simply didn’t know that this was any different from what every couple goes through at some time or another.  Our relationship reached a point where it was inevitably the beginning of the end or so to speak. We had a relationship that lasted for five years and when it ended, it was the most heart breaking time of my life.

Several months prior to our relationship’s demise, I was taking an “Elements of Micro-Electronic Manufacturing” course at the U of MN, and had a laboratory section of this class at the U of MN’s Nanofabrication Center (now called the Minnesota NanoCenter).  There was a position that had opened in this laboratory, and my professor at the time, pleased with my work in his class, thought that I should apply prior to graduating as the job opportunities in that department were hard to come by.  I was flattered to say the least, and took his advice.  I was hired not long after and became a process engineer for the NFC.  It was here that I met my soon-to-be wife, as she was working in the administrative end of the lab.  We became friends and felt a connection early on.  After being friends for a year or so, we became a couple.  Then on Valentine’s Day of 2010, we got married.  In June of 2011, my wife gave birth to our baby girl (now 2 years old of course), and in March of 2012 we bought our first house together.  Needless to say, my life has been quite different ever since.

My wife introduced me to several new philosophies and ways of living that I hadn’t dabbled in before, and I have to say that because of this she has greatly influenced who I’ve become as a person.  My inter-subjective experiences with her have been an enormous catalyst for my own personal growth.  I love her and my daughter, and can’t imagine living without them.  I can’t even imagine who I would be, for that matter, had I not gone to one particular website.  Behold, the Butterfly Effect.