Understanding Serendipity




Before WordPress, I used to run my blog on a system called Serendipity. Sometimes, you know what a word means but it isn’t actually real to you. It’s a dictionary definition- a clinical expression of a word’s value. Serendipity was one of those long words that other people use but wasn’t in my vernacular – by conversation or experience.


Our friendship was truly one of those serendipitous moments wrapped in brevity driven by circumstance. I was giving a talk at the Sydney WordPress meet up that she was attending. Apparently I hit some topics that she was interested in during my talk. We chatted for a few minutes and she asked, “Hey, why don’t we get lunch?” I was brand new in Sydney, looking to meet people, and figured “why not?”

That lunch proved to be a truly interesting connection. Lissanthea was moving to San Francisco and I was just beginning my time in Sydney. We both were enjoying the experience in each other’s hometown. She was a physical therapist and I was just beginning my journey rehabbing my ankle sprain. I apparently knew something about WordPress – and she was starting a new beginning with content online. That hour quickly went by and we both promised to meet again back in San Francisco a few months down the road. As bloggers we both rattled off our favorite pieces of content. Lissanthea left me with one of her posts: The Opposite of Love. After reading it, we debated the opposite of love but I enjoyed the sentiment of her article.

Once we were both back in San Francisco – there was tons to catch up on. Adventures in Australia mixed with adventures in San Francisco, sharing about life, talking about dating, guys with motorcycles, and of course, WordPress.

My time in Australia led to many serendipitous moments – Bush dancing, meeting Gary the sheep farmer, chasing a bus in a Lexus with Nikki. I had an extra ticket to go see the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus do their Summer Pops performance over in Oakland. Lissanthea jumped at the opportunity much like I would have in Sydney. It’s one of those experiences you don’t find in the travel books or websites. Opportunities just appear for which you can engage. We both thoroughly enjoyed the show and wandered around Oakland for the afternoon hitting retail America. I needed a memory card to photograph the rest of the performance and Lissanthea needed some odds and ends before heading to Burning Man.

We joked about Australian Target versus American Target. After a heated debate I conceded that American Target was truly better. It was always fun to share in the differences of American life and Australian life. It turned out the performance was exactly what we both needed. We both enjoyed the show about the joys and pains of travel. As a bonus The umbrellas used in the show were the perfect addition to Lissanthea’s costume for Burning Man.

There are people in your lives that you just enjoy because they fully are who they are in your presence. In the brief time our paths crossed we covered so much ground. We enjoyed our semi nomadic lives, called each other out love when we felt the other needed a broader perspective, and always found joy in the moment.

While I know this isn’t goodbye Lissanthea, I just wanted to take the moment to share how you’ve opened my eyes in a critical aspect of life. And after this year, I agree with you – fear is the opposite of love. Fear prevents us from being truly serendipitous in our lives. Serendipity is one of the key aspects that helps us enjoy life and remain young.

All the best in the next chapter of life…


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4 responses to “Understanding Serendipity”

  1. Bryanna Pearl Avatar

    Lissanthea is my sister.
    I once wrote a poem for her that said she was ” great, because she was my sister”

    But the last few years have blossomed for my big sis. And she’s great because she’s just great.
    I am so glad you got to share her energy.. whilst I am missing it back home.

    We have gypsy blood you know. But for now, my feet are on the ground.
    Thank you for writing about her.
    She deserves it.


  2. mom Avatar

    Very nice blog!!

    1. mom Avatar

      very nice blog!!

  3. Patrick Avatar

    Very well done. You are right about fear but if you can walk through it what is on the other side can be amazing!

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