The Effect of My Butterfly

We have all heard about the "butterfly effect" - that a butterfly in the US flaps it's wings and sets into motion a tsunami that wipes out half of Thailand.  Or something along those lines...  Anyway, we all have our own little butterfly moments, each and every day, but it's not until the tsunami hits that we can really look back to see what set the events that led up to this moment into motion.  In fact, in many cases, it's not at all possible to even know that the butterfly ever flapped it's wings.  But sometimes, we are fortunate enough to have those moments, and I feel like I had one recently.

I'm not sure if I can trace it back as far as to the original butterfly flap, but I do know that something motivated me to take a Zumba class over the summer, and then again in the fall.  A few weeks into the fall class, I found myself humming and attempting to sing Zumba songs that are in Spanish.  I don't know Spanish, so I would just make up words, but that frustrated me.  Around that time I read a book review in my Budget Travel magazine for "Dreaming in Hindi," a book about linguistics and second-language acquisition told through the lens of a woman who moved to India for a year in early September 2001 to participate in a Hindi immersion program.  The concepts discussed in that book were fascinating to me, and I was once again inspired to learn Spanish.  After all, we were planning a vacation for next summer so why not go to Mexico and put some of that Spanish into use (I had taken a spanish class at Carnegie Mellon last year but after that semester, I didn't keep up with it and lost basically everything I had learned.)  So, now I am the proud owner of Drive Time Spanish discs, that supposedly teach you Spanish while you're in the car.  We'll see how that goes...

Anyway, this was a long way of saying that if I hadn't taken that one Zumba class in the summer, my life might be on a very different track right now.  Every decision that we make - every flap of the butterfly's wings - whether conscious or unconscious, sets into motion a series of events that culminates in an event, even if we're not able to see it as an even that we have been leading up to, and even if we are not able to consciously recognize the steps that brought us here.


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