Serendipitous life

Katie - Santa Cruz, California
Entered on March 31, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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Serendipitous Life

The decisions I make in my life will always have an effect on me. Whether it’s a small difference or a big difference, it will be a difference…. or, perhaps, a fortunate accident.

I am a 15 year old girl. I’m just a teenager and already I’ve been changed by one small choice I made. My story is simple, but it has made me a better person.

Six months ago, I went home with my friend to go horseback riding. Unfortunately, there was an accident resulting in an injury. To myself. Fifteen minutes into our ride, the horses spooked and took off down an all asphalt hill. At the bottom, my horse slipped and fell on my leg and we both slid on the asphalt. It was terrifying and I thought I was going to die. I didn’t. But I did spend five hours in Emergency having gravel picked out of my leg. I’m okay, but I get to wear a burn garment for a whole year. No flip-flops. No suntan. An ugly scar. But I am fortunate. No permanent disability. No maiming or dismemberment. Hey, I even made friends with my burn caregivers.

I believe in serendipity. The phenomenon of making fortunate discoveries by accident.

It is a fortunate discovery to realize that I am so lucky!!! I never ever stopped to think about how my decisions affected my life. And why would I? If I was happy, what reason would I have to stop and think about even the slightest detail of a simple decision. Now I realize that everything is connected. Each small decision builds on the previous one until, looking back, I can see my whole life behind is building toward my future.

For example, the time my 4th grade teacher asked me to show the “new girl” around the school, and now Hayley is my pinkie-sworn life-long friend. We advise each other about school, boys, and how to handle our parents. Who knows, maybe we’ll open a restaurant together like we’ve always said.

And, do you know why I’m here at this school? Well, only because my sister’s best friend’s sister went here. Isn’t that convoluted. But here I am. Talk about serendipity.

Right, well maybe I’ll become a physical therapist like the one who treated me and made me do funny exercises. But he also talked to me about education, history, and my goals. That made me think. About things like education, history and my goals! I realized that I do have goals, and I’m lucky because I can make them happen one step at a time. Today, I really want to complete high school so I can graduate from college. Therefore, I have to finish this paper, so that I can realize my dreams. How odd. One assignment at a time!

I can play the “What if…” game, but really, I don’t think I want to go back and undo the day I went riding, because I accidentally discovered that I believe in serendipity.