I have this weird habit — well, maybe you do too — of imagining what my life would have been like if I had gone to a different college, or visited a different country or taken a different job. I am a believer in “the butterfly effect,” despite the awfulness of the movie by the same name. I feel even the seemingly insignificant moments in our lives can set us on a course we might have missed, if things had happened another way.
I am a mother of two boys, who are with me because the exact right pattern of circumstances unfolded them into existence. If I did one thing differently, chances are they wouldn’t be here. Now, I won’t lie, on those really hard days, I wonder about how things might have been. But, more often, on the good days, I am grateful for following a path, however bumpy at times, which lead me to them.
You might expect this to be a story of how I met my husband, the father of my children. And, while that is an important piece of the puzzle, for obvious reasons, I consider another moment much more life-defining.
In 2005, I was a college graduate, with an English degree, and frustrating list of job rejections. I watched as my friends settled into their respective careers as I attempted to piece together my own. My feelings about my self and my ability to prosper plummeted with each passing, jobless month.
In her encouraging desire to help me find my path, my mother invited me to join her at a political fundraiser at a home in Westchester County, N.Y. This was an event for top donors, and some bigwigs would likely be there. Lots of opportunities for networking, my mom thought.
This fundraiser was for then U.S. Senator, Hillary Clinton, who was campaigning for re-election. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ms. Clinton, mostly because I felt she wasn’t a true New Yorker when she first ran for the office. She had since grown on me.
I wish I could tell you some fabulous anecdote about my time with HRC. How her speech inspired me to pursue a career in politics or to try and save the world. Frankly, I don’t remember a single thing she said. Maybe something about her book? I remember, a brief handshake and quick hello.
The thing I most remember about that day was talking with a woman, whose name I have long since forgotten, about my hope to work in media, and my failure to secure a job. This woman told me about a job site just for media careers. It was called, “MediaBistro.”
Later, searching through the listings on MediaBistro.com, I came across a listing for a paid internship at a media association. Granted, an internship wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it sounded interesting, and it paid. So, I applied for the job, which was followed by a phone call and then an in-person interview. I bullshitted my way through most of it, but I most have done something right, because I got the job.
While working at this media association, I befriended a man. A man, who would later become my husband. The man who is the reason, aside from myself, of course, why my two kids are here.
If Hillary Clinton had not agreed to that particular fundraiser, none of this would have happened. Chances are I would have heard about that job site later on, long after that one opportunity had been filled. I might have found a different career, or maybe gone to graduate school. My life would have been different. Better or worse? Who knows? But, definitely different.
I think I can say, without hesitation. that Ms. Clinton is indirectly responsible for everything in my life, right down to this blog post.
I admire Hillary Clinton in many ways, even if I don’t always agree with her politically. If just for the coolness factor, my hope was to publish this when she was elected President of the United States. I guess, it still is a pretty cool story. If I ever meet her again, I will thank her for my children, and for everything else .
Oh, and if you are wondering, I also have a Trump story, but that’s for another day.