A. and I were talking today about how slim the chance of us meeting was...
I grew up in Brazil, did my MS in th USA, went back to Brazil, went back to the USA for a PhD in Raleigh, NC, with the intention of only staying for 3 semesters, finish the coursework and then go back to my job in the Brazilian Amazon (where I had just bought an apartment and would be doing my research anyway).
A. grew up in Hyderabad, India, almost went to the National Defence Academy in India (did not go due to a last minute decision before taking the train), finished college in India, worked there, went to the USA for his MS, worked in Dallas, Detroit, Edenton (NC) and then moved to Raleigh.
And when I moved to Raleigh I decided to go out on my first weekend there. And guess who I meet? That's right, A. He had just moved to the area 6 months before, fleeing the small town life in Edenton. We were friends for 6 months first, with the latter part of those 6 months being filled with "what ifs" by me and by A. wondering if we'd ever work. Four years after first meeting we're getting married! So I guess it does work out.
But details aside, it always amazes me how decisions that seem small at the time they are made can have huge implications on the rest of your life. My Dad used to worry about me going abroad again for my PhD, thinking that chances of meeting someone for the long term were big, and chances that this person would be Brazilian were slim. Not that he preferred Brazilians, but that would make it much easier for me to live "next door", so to speak. I always dismissed his concern and was always sure I'd go back to Brazil. But he was right... the decision I took lightly (thinking only professionally and not necessarily personally) did allow me to meet A., and we still have no clue where (if??) we'll settle down. This is obviously not bad, but it does carry consequences... let's just say that the fastest way to get from India to Brazil takes 26 hours and about US$3000 per person.
Sometimes you don't even realize big decisions are being made... but that's the beauty of it.
What life changing, yet small, decisions have changed your life?