People have often come into my life and sometimes they stay in my life for a period of time and sometimes leave quite quickly. Everyone deals with this no matter how old or what his or her life experience is. But what I’d like to write about in this blog is do people a) come into your life randomly or b) is there a purpose for them being in your life – in other words is there such a thing as fate. I have thought long and hard about this question and I have come to the conclusion that it’s b): People come into your life – and sometimes leave your life – for a purpose. Because of a plan. Here are a few examples:
Back in 2003 I was performing at an open mic at the Grape Street in Philadelphia and met a young lady named Michelle. She seemed really great and we dated for a few months until the day she called me up and said she couldn’t do it anymore. I was crushed. The only thing I could do to get through it was to write. Those songs ended up being about half of my second release The Belle Sessions. So what was the purpose of Michelle? Perhaps to get me to write more and become a better expressive writer. I love those songs and other people do too. Maybe the separation was all about timing – she just moved back home from Germany and life was kind of chaotic for her. Without this experience I would not have had so many songs to draw from for that record.
Like the example above, situations play a big role on how people come in or come out of your life. During the 2002-2003 school year I worked as a substitute teacher at Chichester High School. I had graduated from Penn State with a teaching degree at the end of 2001 and the Chichester experience was my first real job in the profession. Shortly after the school year I got a call about interviewing for a full time job – and blew it. I was crushed. Little did I know fate and the biggest change in my life was about to begin.
In June or July 2003 I got a job at a Borders in North Wilmington. I distinctly remember talking to Mike in the café soon after I started working there. He knew I was a singer-songwriter and told me there was an open mic at Stoney’s down the street. Had I not had that conversation I can’t imagine where my life would be now.
So I went down on a Wednesday and signed up and played. I met the house Paul Lewis, an artist on a label called Realize Records. Stoney’s is a great British pub owned by a fascinating character named Mike Stone. I started going to the open mic every week and becoming a regular for many years. I met many amazing performers and people. I grew as a songwriter and performer.
Paul was always very helpful to me and encouraged me. It was definitely fate or destiny that I came to Stoney’s. During one of the Realize Records’ contest I won the award of having one of the Realize Records’ artist covering one of my songs – “The Platform of Our Lives.” Paul recorded a version of this song on his album Bag of Rain. There are many reasons why I am on Realize Records as an artist and that path began with the open mic.
So to me at least people come into your life for a reason, for a purpose, because of fate. To me nothing in life is because of chance or random. Perspective and reflection is needed to have the belief I have. It can be challenging telling yourself there is a plan in life.