Melissa Carter: The best laid plans

• My friend’s wife had a baby and gave me a list of about 40-50 numbers to text a picture of the baby to. One of the girls that responded caught my eye.

• An old friend of mine wanted to hook me up with her ex boyfriend, but what she neglected to tell me was that she was just using me to try and get back together with him. We are still together.

• I was a teacher and my husband was a single dad and our school’s PTA president.

• I was “wing man” for my best friend when she was going to meet someone for the first time at Piedmont Park. Low and behold, the person she was meeting had the same idea and brought back up as well. When we met, I saw her “wing man” and fell head over heals. They didn’t work out but we’ve been together for almost three years now.

• I lost a bet and had to pay by going on for their free week trial and go out with those who contacted me that week.

• My car broke down on the road and he stopped to help me, fixed my car, then asked me on a date.

• We lived down the street from one another for seven years and I was friends with his older brother.

• He was my server.

• Coach and assistant coach at a high school.

• At his wedding.

• Jury duty…and she was the prosecutor.

This is true in my own life also. Katie and I met for five minutes at a radio station party. Two years later we randomly ran into each other again when I was least expecting her. 

But situations like this don’t have to apply to romance. Life-altering circumstances can come while trying to find a job, even for the famous.

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis got the lead roles in “Thelma and Louise” because Melanie Griffith, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster turned the roles down.

J.K. Rowling got fired from her job as a secretary in Amnesty International, giving her time to write “Harry Potter.”

Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was 65-years-old and got a Social Security check for only $105. Angry over the low amount, he drove around the country to sell his chicken recipe to restaurants.

We spend our first two decades in the structure of school, so it’s natural we would take an expectation of how things should work into the rest of our lives.

For instance, we must get the perfect job that will lead to the next perfect job. We must get married by a certain age, so that we can have our 2.5 kids at the correct time. The greatest disappointments come when something does not live up to our expectation. But we forget stories that inspire us the most are the ones about life not following a perfect plan.

I am a planner to a fault, but life has taught me that the moments you aren’t expecting are the ones that form the biggest chapters of your life.

No matter the issue, life seems to be constantly trying to teach me the same lesson: Some things are just meant to be. 

Like a fender bender.


Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huffington Post. She broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in Atlanta and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter