What Was Your Biggest Sliding Door Moment?


One newsletter I once read talked about “sliding door moments.” (That newsletter now requires a paid subscription to read, so I’ve killed any reference to the original link.) This a reference to a 1998 movie with a young, gorgeous Gwyneth Paltrow called Sliding Doors. In that film, Paltrow’s character has two divergent encounters with a New York City subway train. In one, she makes the train, and in another, she doesn’t. 

Here’s a super grainy trailer of the film from YouTube:

So, the film switches up between both scenarios, and our lovely protagonist’s life is entirely different when she makes the train versus when she doesn’t. Not to spoil much, but one scenario goes far, far better for the main character. It’s really incredible that if X happens in your life, no matter how insignificant that incident may seem at the time, it could completely change the course of your entire life.

Sometimes, making the train is the best thing that can ever happen to you, but sometimes, that sliding door closing and leaving you behind could be, too; spoiler alert, that’s not the case in the movie. However, it’s apparently a really good film, despite an extremely mixed critical reception. But, over-promising under-delivering Hollywood drama aside, sliding door moments are a very real thing.

The only moment I could call a true sliding door moment in my life was meeting Thomas at a critical juncture of both of our lives. We talk about it a lot; what if Thomas hadn’t encountered my Writer’s Lift thread on Twitter? It’s sort of weird to think about now, having dumped all of my social media accounts in mid-September 2022. But, yeah, all it takes is one reply on a social media thread, and two people’s entire existences change all at once.

Had I not put up a Writer’s Lift that day, or if the algorithm hadn’t bothered to display it to the right person, it’s possible that Thomas and I never would’ve connected the way we did. Had I not been on Twitter altogether, I’m sure my life would’ve tanked entirely; I was in a very bad way during the pandemic. 

Still, I don’t know that there was ever another sliding door moment that I can recall; but, there were plenty of doors-slammed-in-my-face moments. As it turns out, all those slammed doors worked in my favor. So, yes, sometimes doors closing, or slamming in my case, actually do lead to good new possibilities.

What was your biggest sliding door moment in your life?

~ Amelia Desertsong

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

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