My flight was cancelled on Tuesday. It was scheduled for 5pm and I received a text less than four hours before. On the way to the airport. (Thank Beijing traffic for that one.) A friend later said she’d actually shown up before they told her about her flight cancellation, so it could have been worse. We headed back and I was fully prepared to spend the rest of the evening doing nothing, because nothing had been scheduled, because I was suppose to be in a different city. Thank goodness for friends and the speediness of the internet.
I ended up going to a friend’s place in a hutong, where one expert taught the rest of us how to strategically plant and harvest beans. (First result when googling ‘bean card game’. Hey look, 6 spinoffs and 13 expansions… WOW.) It got pretty intense. Then there was coffee, dessert, and wine. A lot of wine. As luck of have it (oh hey, universe), Wine Wednesdays had been moved forward this week. A friend hosted, and in addition to meeting some awesome new people, I also saw old friends whom I had given up on seeing due to their hectic schedules. It was an amazing night and it couldn’t have happened if my flight wasn’t arbitrarily canceled (Hainan claims weather, HAH), if my friend hadn’t texted when she did, if I’d been lazy and decided against the hour+ metro, if Wine Wednesday hadn’t become a one-time Wine Tuesday, and if a whole lot of other circumstances hadn’t worked out exactly the way they did.
Around 4am, I took a taxi back. My Chinese was spectacular after however much wine, and the taxi driver and I had a pretty interesting discussion about China and the issues facing the country today. He mentioned how the last two customers were both heading to Tiananmen Square for raising of the flag and whatever else May Day ceremonies were planned. He mentioned problems of corrupt officials and how taxi drivers have no say in the raising of taxi prices next month. (Minimum from 10 to 15 kuai in mid-May, he said.) We also covered the economy, the cost of healthcare, Western attitudes, and the usefulness of GPS. He loves his job.
Yesterday on the plane, I sat in an aisle seat for the first time in years. Literally years. It was the middle row with three seats. Next to me was an 18 year old (think about this: she was born in 1995. Made me feel like a fossil), and she was heading to Guangzhou to visit suppliers for her budding online business. Sitting next to her was a dance professor who also runs a successful high-end clothing brand. From what I gathered, she speaks fluent English and French, has business contacts all over the world, and is generally a very talented person. She took time to speak to us, share wisdom, and give advice. It was inspirational, the way she spoke of her experiences and failures and eventually amazing success in the industry. Yesterday was one of the first times I didn’t specifically request a window seat.
Chance, chance, chance. Risk, risk, risk. Opportunities knock more often than we think, we just need to be prepared to open the door. If bad things happen, accept it, learn from it, and move on. If good things happen, be happy, enjoy every second, and move on. The future can never be planned down to the last detail, and perhaps the taxi driver and the professor business woman have already changed my life. But maybe I was actively looking for the message the universe gave to me through them. Or amazing coincidences really exist. Or maybe, just maybe, having a positive mindset open to possibilities and ignoring the inner sloth will get people much closer to their goals than anyone thinks. Universe, am I right?