I’ve always been fascinated by how seemingly unrelated things can link together and form a chain of events that change people’s lives. Heavy for a writing prompt, huh?
Here’s a “for instance”…
I moved to a new town two years ago. I knew no one and so, I thought I’d start a book club to try to make some new friends. I announced the club on Meetup and put out a book to read and a date to meet. On the first day, no one showed up. I was disappointed, but no surprised. I sat comfortably with my book and a glass of red wine for an hour, then went home.
I tried again. I gave myself a month, pick a book I knew well and was comfortable talking about and by the time the date of the meetup came around, there were enough people signed up to the group to warrant hope that one or two might attend. I was rewarded for my persistence with the arrival of three attendees. We talked about the book, had a drink and a laugh and I went home, pleased with the evening.
Months went by and the attendee figures rose. A year later, and I now have 98 members and a consistent set of 12-14 attendees each month and a waiting list usually 6-10 people deep. Was my mission accomplished? You could say that. As a result of over a year of meetings and countless glasses of wine and a shared love of books, friendships have been forged not only within the book club, but outside of it. I’ve met wonderful people I’m proud to call friends. Why did all this happen? Because I didn’t want to be the isolated new girl in the neighbourhood.
Another example of a chain of events leading to things is how I got into my career. Many many many years ago, when I first moved to London from the US, I was working as an administrator in a recruitment company. To say that is was a soul destroying glimpse of humanity is an understatement, but that’s a story for another time. So, there I sat, depressed, playing countless hours of Tekken on my Playstation and solo-drinking gin and tonics into the night.
What happens when you’ve been drinking gin and tonics alone at night and the only people you know who are awake are in a different time zone? You drunk-dial your brother, of course!
So, there I sat, sobbing into the receiver about my career options or lack thereof. My brother, who remains my career saviour to this day, said, “You love people and you can sell anything. You should be in PR or Marketing.” Hmmm…Marketing, I thought. I liked the sound of it.
A few weeks later, I found a job in a TV buying house in London, quit the recruitment agency, worked for one of the most terrifying bosses ever (good person, bad manager) and I was on my way. Over a decade later and I’m still in Media and still loving it. I work with beautiful, talented people, so that helps.
From the examples above, it’s funny how big events can spring from small things. In my case it was a nearly-abandoned attempt at a book club and and gin, tonic and Tekken binge.
For this writing prompt, think of something significant in your life and work your way backwards. What are the links of the daisy chain that led you to that key event?