Meant to Be

You may not always end up where you thought you were going, but you will always end up where you're meant to be. -Jessica Taylor-I don’t really read magazines, and I can’t quite remember what brought me to the magazine rack at our local Wal-Mart the day I met Sarah (name changed to protect privacy). I suspect we were both just being where we needed to be, even if we didn’t know it at the time.

The last thing I imagined finding in our rural Michigan Wal-Mart that day (or ever) between the rows of busty women holding machine guns and busty women perched on the hoods of muscle cars or busty women trying to indoctrinate me with unrealistic beauty standards and unappetizing diet trends, was a magazine on Japanese animation (anime). I suspect it was just being where it needed to be, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

I lunged forward, swooped up the magazine, and embraced it like a long-lost friend. I’m also quite sure I let out a small squeal. I wish I could say I was exaggerating about this moment. Not so. And in mid-embrace I looked over and saw Sarah, who was looking over at me.

Now awkward social interactions are nothing new to me, but this one was different. Instead of looking uncomfortable, Sarah looked understanding. It was just the signal I needed to stay and talk and instead of escape and run.

It turned out that Sarah was also a huge Japanese culture and animation fan. We spent a good fifteen minutes or so exchanging our favorite things about Japan, anime, and manga. We were both so busy being strange together (aka fangirling) we didn’t notice or care if anyone else noticed our strangeness.

I suspect most of life is being where we need to be, even if we don’t know it at the time.


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