When you decide to turn a small occurrence into something bigger than the sum of its parts, your life can change in unexpected ways. I love this story of a guy who found a roll of film in the middle of a blizzard in New York, then committed himself (and his girlfriend) to finding the owner by broadcasting the photos and turning them into a project bigger than himself ... and bigger than their origins.
It's a quest that brings them to Europe for the first time and culminates in a number of new experiences and friendships. His reflection on the owner is also telling: everyone they met along the way "opted in" to participate in this project, but her own participation was not her choice. It is something that happened, something that brewed and mutated on the other side of the world while she was back home, living her life. Eventually it found her and drew her unwittingly in, a tidal pull whose impact vastly outweighs the mundane act of losing a roll of vacation film.
It reminds me of when I made the decision to start blogging in 2001. My hands shook and I didn't know what was going to happen. It felt significant but I didn't know how that significance would manifest itself, sweeping me up in its tides. I often wonder who or what I would be if I didn't make this choice and follow through as it began to metastasise into new and unexpected things, bringing me into advertising, drawing me to the other side of the coast, and eventually helping me realise my own vague childhood dream of "living in Paris as a writer."
I know now that if I didn't take that small thread of something, and quietly commit to letting it change me the way it was going to (for better and for worse ... but not often), my life would have gone on. And the destiny I hitched myself to would simply have belonged to someone else (indeed, many others).
It doesn't take a lot to change your life.