hap·pen·stance (hăp′ən-stăns′ or ˈhæp ənˌstæns)

1. a chance circumstance
2. an unexpected random event
3. a coincidence


When did happenstance last happen to you?

From time to time I learn a new word. This happens both in English and in Portuguese, and it always feels so strange to me the fact that I had never seen it before, that the whole world I once knew needs to adjust in order to accommodate it. And that world I once knew never gets back to how it was.

This happened recently with the word ‘happenstance’.

I am always going after ‘acasos’. I spot coincidences, detect patterns, and I’m often saved by a series of random events. Before ‘happenstance’, ‘acaso’ in English was just ‘chance’, ‘coincidence’, ‘hazard’. But, suddenly, it became (also) the moment when a give circumstance happens (to me).

From time to time I discover something new in paths I often travel. “How come I haven’t noticed it before?”. And again, my whole world adjusts. Just as with the word ‘happenstance’, it seems as though that new thing had purposedly been placed there, at the right time for me to notice it. Or, perhaps, it has always been there, but neither before nor after would it make sense to notice it.

From time to time happenstance happens. Let it happen to you and try to learn from it too.

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