I don’t believe in random. I mean I do, but I don’t.
Lotto balls are random. The way a snowflake falls from the sky is random. The things that come out of my nine year-old’s mouth are random. But life and our interactions with others are never random. That being said, I met Cate Colgan through the most random of circumstances.
At the time, I had no idea what a Tweetup was. Nevertheless, Lee and I trekked down to the Performing Arts Center in downtown Tampa for a Tampa Bloggers Tweetup. I blogged and I lived in Tampa, but I hardly considered myself a ‘Tampa Blogger’. Lee and I were both still relative novices in the whole arena of social media, but it was something to do so off we went.
Near the end of the event, we met Cate. We chatted with her a bit and exchanged information. I didn’t think much of it at the time. It was just another business card to add to the pile I had collected that evening. We had met a good amount of people at the event and I spent the better part of the drive home trying to mentally sort all the names and faces to which we’d been introduced.
Some time passed and Lee forwarded me information about a Social Media class. Again, given we were both eager to learn more, we registered for the class. It turned out Cate Calgon was part of the group that put together and organized the class. In fact, Lee came across the information for the class as a result of following Cate on Twitter and keeping tabs on her information.
This second meeting with Cate led to her inviting Lee, and by extension me, to join the Epic Thanks Tampa Bay planning organization. I was at first reluctant to commit to the planning and execution of such an event, but I am really glad I got involved, and it turned out to be quite a successful project. In addition to the networking opportunities that were created as a result of being a part of that organization, Epic Thanks also introduced me to a world of new people that are still a part of my daily life. I’ve made new and dear friends, and I would not have met all these people if not for Cate.
Cate has also been a role model for me in that she leads through example, is incredibly giving and selfless, and carries no ego with her. Given all she’s done and all she’s donated, both in time and money, Cate makes it all seem like it’s no big deal. She doesn’t walk around with a sense of superiority. Quite the contrary. Cate is always looking to deflect attention away from her and provide praise and cheer to someone else.
No, there was nothing random about what brought Cate Calgon into my life. I truly believe God allowed our paths to cross so I could:
- Be an active part of a wonderful, non-profit organization and event
- Be introduced to breathtakingly inspiring people who make giving of themselves their life’s work
- Expand my knowledge, understanding and skill sets regarding social media, event planning, and event marketing
- Create new opportunities, both personally and professionally, through the many people with whom Cate has connected me
I could easily add twenty more bullet points, but I am sure you get the idea.
To say Cate Calgon has made an impact on my life is an understatement. I’ve written before how thankful I am to her and for having her come into my life the way she did. I will say it again, however, because there are not enough words for me to properly describe how much of a ray of sunshine Cate has been.
Thanks again, Cate, for turning on the ‘giving’ switch inside of me, and for showing me how rewarding life can be when you make it about others.