If you think about it, our lives are full of chance encounters. Some are good, some are bad… some are random, unreal, amazing and unbelievable.
One chance encounter got me citizenship in Australia. Seriously. I was on a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney and the person sitting next to me offered me a job. It changed the course of my life forever and I am truly thankful for that moment.
But sometimes these chance encounters can be heartbreaking. Ya see, we’re human. We’re social creatures who, for the most part, want to be liked and loved. Just the other day, I was reflecting back to a time I was in France where a chance encounter rocked my world.
I was headed to the United States to sort out paperwork for a family member. This may seem weird to some, but it’s completely logical for someone coming from Australia. I decided to pass though Europe on the way to the United States and attend a few conferences. Whilst at one conference, I had the most precious experience….
I somehow got locked in a bathroom and was saved by a bunch of scientists. Oh, no.. that’s not the precious experience I’m talking about at all even though that did happen… but after that incident, the conference was over and we all headed back to the Air BNB.
I got out of the car and we all headed up the stairs. I opened this beautifully thick, seriously French looking door and walked into the house. After we all cracked open a few beers in the kitchen, we headed to the lounge. Whilst I walked to the lounge, that’s when I locked eyes with a very handsome and very fit German.
You know those moments that you seen in the movies when the two main characters lock eyes and the rest of the world just blurs out for all of eternity. That’s exactly what that split second felt like. He froze and looked right me and I stood there looking at this drop dead gorgeous German like I had never seen anyone like him before in my life.
For what felt like eternity actually was only a few seconds. I broke my gaze and headed into the lounge with the rest of the group. This was actually a surreal night for me. I was sitting amongst the best and the brightest of the European Space Agency. That doesn’t happen every day, and it felt like I was given this gift of a moment in time to recall this such event. But as the conversations were carrying on…. the gorgeous German sat next to me.
This was not common in my world… meaning, I hardly have people actively interested in me but, I could feel the interest from within him. It was like a sense of urgency… and I’m not entirely sure because, men these days don’t care like this one did.
As we ducked in and out of conversations around the room but, one thing was certain, the gorgeous German was interested in getting to know me. This was only a small gathering but the longer the night went on, the more it felt like we were the only two in the room. We spoke about everything and anything. There was an incredible connection however, I dismissed the spark. I listened to my jet lagged body and went to sleep.
The next day, I did my normal thing. I attended the normal sessions and pretty much expected nothing out of the ordinary until… the gorgeous German started to appear virtually out of nowhere! If I sat in the audience, he sat next to me. If I was chatting amongst a group, he’d stand next to me. Then, the gorgeous German asked if I’d like to come for a BBQ dinner at his place about 30 minutes from the university.
Again, I brushed him off by saying that he’d need to speak with my two companions. I pointed to my road trip accomplices and said, “You need to speak with the driver and the person with whom’s house I was crashing at.” Again, I expected nothing more to come from it. I didn’t realise at the time but, he did actually ask. My road trip driver was cool but my road trip flatmate didn’t understand the significance of what was happening and frankly, I was brushing it off, too.
Throughout the day, I did enjoy the interaction and to be fair it felt really good to feel “special” to someone again. He gave me his contact information and we parted ways, but there was something inside me that made me want to reach out.
I wrote him an email and he wrote back. We started to send texts and eventually, we met again. It never felt awkward between us but, he always told me that I made him nervous because he really liked me.
We saw each other a few times. I learned how to fly like a bird and we discovered the most magical crystal clear lake in all of Italy. I started to speak German and I was happier than usual. We camped in the Dolomites and went hiking at 2am in Switzerland amongst the stars and discovered that guard goats are as stealth as ninjas..
Oh man. I hate writing about this stuff. But it’s true. All of it.
I haven’t felt anything like it since and I don’t think that’s a bad thing because all love is different. And, maybe there’s a few lessons to be learned here… Well, at least that’s what I’m figuring out. Love is precious and kind. Love doesn’t have a time frame or is something that we totally understand. Love stretches from the edges of the Earth and is different to all of us. And, love can end as quickly as it was formed; it only takes a few choice words to unravel everything.
Even though this was such a fleeting moment for me, it was special. I learnt a lot from it and over time I reflected upon it quite a bit. I think love also comes in different forms meaning, that we must not forget nor should we judge what love is to others. As people come into our lives, love changes. What we feel is different to each and every person and that’s not a bad thing. What I mean by that is, if you feel a different kind of love for someone else, that’s actually ok – to just go with it because you are the only one who can cheapen it. You are the only one that can say it isn’t what it is…
I would have loved for this adventure with the gorgeous German to have continued on and to be honest, I don’t see anything ever coming close to what it was. At times, I do find it a bit sad. Like, as humans we are capable of remembering these precious moments that we experienced – but at the same time, that’s it. They’re just beautiful moments in time that is only a memory. There’s a bit of pain behind it because you know you’ll never experience anything like it.
And, in theory, this can relate to anything in life. So perhaps this is one of the greatest life lessons. That our memories can also haunt us – if we let them.
Sometimes when I close my eyes, I think back and see these beautiful bright clear blue skies of Switzerland. I can feel the rush of humidity blow by my skin whilst I was scared to death as I ran off a cliff in Italy. And wow… I can never forget how healing it was to see the small little brown pebbles in the crystal clear lake. I don’t think I’ll ever find that place ever again, but maybe that’s the point of it all. Perhaps, life is all about the taste… perhaps it’s all one big life lesson – to not be too comfortable in our lives and to appreciate everything that we have.
We can take these lessons of the past and apply them to what will happen next because if you think about it, we are only here on this good Earth for a mere split second in time. Our lives are just one pause of a smile before time simply rolls on. It never lasts. And I guess that’s what we all need to learn, that endings are ok, too because that means that there’s new beginnings.
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!