I am writing about coincidence since what has happened to me this week seems like too much of a coincidental series of events to just be a coincidental series of events.
Does coincidence exist or not? Is it a real thing? Everyone knows the feeling. Something happens, and it’s too coincidental to be just a coincidence. This is our brain trying to make sense of the seemingly random events that take place in our lives. Consciously and subconsciously our brain attempts to see structure and correlation when there is none. Statistically speaking, random events are bound to happen; coincidence only exists when we notice those events.
My housemate talked about coincidence to me this week, which, in hindsight, might have been the only reason why I noticed any of the following. On Thursday we went to Utrecht together, and by coincidence, we found a very nice Surinam place just when we were hungry. After eating, we went inside an old pictures shop and found amongst thousands of pictures, two identical ones, which we decided to buy. The day after at my work at a vegetable shop, I happened to come across two plums with the exact same funny deformity in the same box of plums, which is quite a little bit special.
Just pay attention to seemingly uneventful and meaningless moments of your life, you might end up finding 300 euros
These are all silly examples, but every time they happened, I had to think of how coincidental it was that these random but unusual events took place.
What happened on Saturday, in the end, finished off my coincidental week. I went to Utrecht, again, I must have subconsciously thought it was my lucky place the past week, to meet some highschool friends. Within five minutes outside of the station, I thought I had found a fifty euro note on the ground. After some additional seconds, those fifty euros turned out to be 300 euros, six notes of fifty. How on earth was it possible that I had just found so much money on a street where every moment tons of people pass by?
The point I am trying to make is that if you just pay attention to seemingly uneventful and meaningless moments of your life, you might end up finding 300 euros in the street. Kidding, you probably won’t. But even without finding a treasure, but just being conscious of the random things happening every single day, can be a fun way to reflect, think of, and maybe even remember today amongst all the other seemingly similar days.
Livia Franssen is a second-year Bachelor’s student of Environmental Sciences, and lives at Droef.