I think many of us have reflected on the “sliding door” moments in our life, the what ifs? What might have been? How would my life be different now? I know I have.

It may be a split decision to take a different route home or leave 10 minutes later from work, avoiding an accident It may be where we decide to live, our career choice, or who we choose to marry. One decision can change the course of our life forever. I am also very aware of the butterfly effect, the ripple effect, caused by that one decision. The family I now have and the friends I have made along the way.

A pivotal sliding door moment for me was when I met a friendly girl in a cafeteria at school. We had two weeks left until the end of the spring semester and we were discussing our summer plans. She was heading back to her hometown, Whitehorse, and I was going to Yellowknife to work for the summer. She told me about the beautiful Yukon territory and the jobs that were available there. I reviewed the student job search bulletin board and two weeks later I was on an airplane heading to Whitehorse instead of Yellowknife.

My summer job actually turned into four years of living in the beautiful Yukon. This is where I met my husband. And the rest is history. Was I destined to meet my husband, possibly at a different time and place, or through different circumstances?

We found out that our paths may have crossed in a prior year. My family and I used to camp at a lake in the interior of BC when I was a young girl. At that time, my husband lived on this lake immediately across from our campground.

Erica and her husband on their 40-year anniversary. They were married November, 1978, in Whitehorse

I have heard many stories like this. One couple I know spent the first few days of their lives in the same hospital nursery. They were actually born on the same day. They met years later and married. Other friends found out they had attended the same basketball game years before they actually met. A random event? Fate? Serendipity?

There are also theories of parallel universes in modern science. Something about electrons spinning in different directions at the same time. The theory is that there is a parallel you inhabiting a world that is no less real than ours, yet can accommodate different outcomes. Is there a copy of me existing right now in an alternate reality; in a separate, parallel universe? This concept is far too in depth and complicated for my brain, although intriguing.

I do not know whether our lives unfold by chance or whether we are on a preordained path. Do we have certain people in our lives for a reason? Are there lessons we are required to learn on this route?

I have reflected on the sliding door moments in my life, especially the summer I moved to the Yukon. I will never know how my life would have turned out differently, if I had taken that airplane to Yellowknife instead of Whitehorse.

My gut on this one? I am grateful I went through that one door leading me to this rewarding life.

I cannot imagine my life without my husband, my daughters, my family, my friends. I was destined to be right here, right now.