Serendipity is my favorite word.
I just graduated from journalism school and I decided I would hold out a bit longer for something closer to my dream job. I spent the morning scouring the internet looking for a remotely intriguing position. My frustration was mounting and I was getting nothing done. The last thing I should have been doing was making an appointment for a massage at Ophelia’s spa, but I figured it was an investment in my mental health.
I checked in and sat across from someone who looked significantly more stressed out than I was. I offered a gentle hello that hopefully signalled I was willing to listen. He looked up and I smiled again. Bingo! He was the editor of The Daily Doodle, our local newspaper. I didn’t recognize him at first, but there he was— Haverford Smith— sitting across me and about to share his worldly problems. The advice columnist had quit that morning with no notice and he had hundreds of letters sitting on his desk with no one to answer them. He dropped his head into hands and paused for a few moments. I could not believe my ears. He lifted his head to speak again and saw a giant grin spread across my face. He raised an eyebrow obviously wondering why on earth I might be grinning like a giddy school girl. “Serendipity, Mr. Smith.” I went on to tell him that I had dreamt of being the advice columnist for The Daily Doodle since I was a kid.
We exchanged contact info and a week later I started my career writing the Dear Magnus column for the Daily Doodle. That was 20 years ago and serendipity is still my favorite word.