For those who aren’t familiar, sliding doors moment became a term popularised in the late 20th-century meaning seemingly inconsequential moments that nonetheless alter the trajectory of future events.
The year was 2000. I had never held a drumstick in my life. There was no formal music background in my family and I started playing drums more or less by accident. I was in 6th grade and didn’t have any specific inclinations towards hobbies, sports, or extra-curricular activities.
When selecting classes, I was given the option to either take a class called “Enrichment” (whatever that was) or join the school band. I opted for the latter but when I walked in the door for the first day of band class, Mr. Fitch, the band director asked me a question I wasn’t prepared for.
“What instrument do you want to play?”
Me (in my head): Looks around the room, sees almost every instrument section full. There were about 10 open spots in the back by the drums, and hey, the only person back there was a cute girl. Plus I remember my Uncle used to play drums.
Me (out loud): “I’ll think I'll play drums, please.”
This was my Sliding Doors Moment
In my head, I was simply picking an alternative to taking the “Enrichment” class in 6th grade. What actually happened was much more consequential.
For the next 15 years, I would go on to perform in symphonies, become a leader in our marching band, play in a touring rock band, and ultimately spend the first large chunk of my professional career working in Concerts & Live Events. I lived & breathed music.
Drumming became my identity and almost every decision I made tied back to that one moment, that happened seemingly by accident.
I am confident that everyone has some version of a sliding doors moment. When we open our minds to new experiences, hobbies, skills, and trades, beautiful things can happen.
What is your sliding doors moment? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.