syn-chro-nic-i-ty /, events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no casual relationship, yet seem to be meaningfully related.
A lot of things in life make me tilt my head to the side in wonder; “What are the odds that could have happened?” Usually, I say this to myself over trivial things, such as someone wearing the same shirt as me, or when I’m humming a song in my head and it instantly starts playing on the radio. (That one makes me feel like a psychic, honestly)
But something that I find interesting, and sometimes even impressive, is when two complete strangers make a connection over something they share in common, simply by being in the right place at the same time. This happened to me this week by pure accident.
This week I had the pleasure of connecting with a fellow freelance designer, who happens to be going to Creative South in April. If you don’t know what Creative South is all about, you should definitely ask around work, twitter, or look them up online. It was my first conference that catered to creatives, and I absolutely loved it. Conferences get a horrible rep for being boring, tedious, and time consuming, but none of these things describe the wonders that comes from being in Columbus, GA at Creative South. Creative South, or CS in twitter terms (usually as CS16, or whatever year the conference happens,) is a place to grow, make connections, rekindle old flames with your creative passions, and (most importantly) where you come as friends but leave as family.
You will hear people say this over and over again. It’s kind of a big deal, and is the slogan for the conference. The best part about it is that it’s totally true! I remember showing up to the conference only knowing one person, Diane Gibbs, and left with more friends than I can count on my fingers! If you’re afraid of being in a crowd, introverted, or generally shy, CS16 is the place to change that. It’s difficult not to feel the love when you’re there, and sitting / standing alone the crowd is damn near impossible. Someone is going to come up to you, introduced themselves (and their 3 new besties) and you’ll end up going to the talks with them, followed by a quick lunch later. BOOM! Just like that, you’ve already made new friends at your first creative conference. It’s that easy!
But, I’m getting a bit side tracked here. The real reason I’m mentioning Creative South is because of the fun little coincidence that occurred Friday at the coffee shop. As I said, I met a fellow freelance designer this past week, we’ll call her K, who told me that she was really looking forward to the conference. K mentioned that she was in need of a recharge and that she was feeling a little down, so that’s why she decided to go. Not to mention, get ready for the synchronicity bit, the friend that referred her to the shop is someone that I met last year at CS15! How crazy is that!? This friend of K’s, we’ll call her L, was a chance introduction that I made while attending CS15. We ended up talking in a bar for a few hours that last time that we chatted, just catching up on the week’s events. I hadn’t actually kept up with L since CS15, sadly, but I did remember her and immediately was reminded of how we became fast friends when we were at the conference together.
This idea that the things happening around us are in a constant state of flow, ever changing and shifting according to our actions, amazes me to no end. When I met K, it was one of those days that I decided to stick around at the shop for just a bit longer that day. I needed to catch up on a bit more work, and ended up ignoring it when a few regular high school students came in to shoot the breeze with me and my boss. One of the high school students asked me about one of my many stickers on the back of my laptop:
This sticker was one that I got in a swag bag at the conference; another perk of going to a conference for creatives. The question and conversation that followed caught K’s attention, and prompted her to speak up. “I’m going to Creative South too!” she said. And thus, a new connection was made that day.
I hope that I left K feeling even more excited about the conference rather than nervous. I tend to ramble when I get excited. ( I had also had way too much caffeine that day. ) So, I’ll leave you with this little nugget of inspiration: If you’re feeling down, or that you’re not on the right path, pay more attention to your surroundings. There may be a clue to the next step in your journey that you simply wouldn’t have been aware of if you weren’t in the right place at the right time. How do you make sure you’re in the right place at the right time, you ask? You don’t! My advice is to always be curious, explore and don’t be afraid to make new connections wherever you go. You might just meet someone who will remind you that you’re right where you’re supposed to be.
And to any of you attending CS16 this year, since I won’t be able to go, make sure to find K and make her feel welcome! (I’m sure by the time she gets there I will have asked her if it’s okay to use her real name! )