Sometimes, every once in a while, the mundanity of everyday living transpires to change your life.
Sometimes, even the simple act of crossing a dance floor can change your very existence, and the direction of the path upon which you are set, from there on in.
Eleven years ago, I crossed a dance floor. Eleven years ago, I walked across the room in Tiger Tiger (that tranquil oasis of romance) to dance with a man whose name I didn’t know. I took his number, mistook his name as Tom, and texted him days later.
Because of that initial act of crossing a room (and rather enjoying the feel of his biceps through his shirt) my life changed inexorably. Because of that dance, two little girls now exist in the world who otherwise may not have done; two little girls who will go on to create their own ripples on the lives of others, and who will change the world in ways I may not yet imagine.
Because of that dance, young adults that I teach may well have received an even better education at my hands than they may previously have done, because he inspires me every day. Some of those adults will, by now, have careers and families of their own, and will be making their own impact on the world.
Of course, this can all work the other way, too. The butterfly effect of life and love can lead us to despair. If we had only taken a different route, if we had only loved a little better, if we had only taken the time to make our partner know how appreciated they were, or listened a little longer and held a little tighter. Life and love are full of if onlys. But they are also full of chance and wonder.
My husband brings out the very best in me. We took a chance on each other, as couples the world over do, and found something in each other that we’d not found in anyone else before.
We spend hours talking about nothing and everything. I love his depth of knowledge and passion for education, and he indulges me as I wax lyrical about the latest sentence in a book I may be reading, that has set my mind alight. Externally, we are most likely dull as ditch water, but internally, in ourselves, where it matters, we are incendiary.
There’s a love song by Father John Misty in which he says he has never before ‘hated all the same things as someone else,’ and I love this back-to-front summing up of human connection. It goes straight against the cliché of liking all the same things as one another, and in doing so gets straight to the point of what we all believe when we fall in love: this time, it’s different. This time, it’s real.
“Darling, I love you as you are when you’re alone, I’ll never try to change you.” FJM.
First published in The Portsmouth News, Tuesday 1st March 2016