I was thinking the other day about the decisions and events that led me to where I am now.
Back in late 1998, I was in my sophomore year at college. I had never left the US, save for a brief few hours in Tijuana, Mexico. I saw that my school was hosting a meeting for students interested in studying abroad. I went, and learned that in the fall of 1999, they would be sending students to the University of Amsterdam for a semester.
Now, I’d been interested in going to Europe for a while, but Amsterdam? All I knew of it was its party reputation. I wasn’t exactly sure if that’s where I wanted to go, but I signed up anyway. After a few more meetings and discussions, I was set on going. Then, a friend of mine started talking about moving off campus for the following year. I was interested in living with him, but he couldn’t guarantee they would hold me a place if I left for a semester. I’d most likely have to play Roommate Roulette when returning, and get assigned a roommate by the school.
Other factors to consider were: the extra cost of spending a semester abroad, and that it would delay my graduation by a semester, meaning even more money spent. Add in that none of my friends were going (so I’d be alone), and the fact that I had a girlfriend at the time, I reluctantly decided not to go.
I ended up moving in with the friend, which led me to get a job working at Domino’s Pizza. I broke up with the girlfriend, and eventually met my future wife. She was the roommate of one of my Domino’s co-workers. We graduated, bought a house, and got married. Eventually, as you know, we sold the house and moved to Amsterdam.
I sometimes wonder, what would have happened if I had spent the semester studying in Amsterdam? Would I have loved it, or hated it? After coming home, who would I have lived with? Would I ever have met my wife? Would I still have been interested in moving to Europe?
I’m not complaining, it’s just funny to think: by deciding against Amsterdam then, the wheels were set in motion for me to move here later. What decisions am I making now that will have unforeseen results years from now?