When I was in my early twenties I read a book called The Celestine Prophecy, which made me look at life in a very different way. The book shows us how to make connections between the events happening in our life now and use them to predict what is going to happen to us in the future.
It claims there is no such thing as coincidence and that everything happens for a reason – we just need to learn how to understand and read the signs.
And, for a very long time I believed this to be true.
I looked for signs from the universe everywhere I went. Every chance encounter had a purpose, every opportunity was a message and – after watching Sliding Doors – every delayed train took me on a different path.
If I was unhappy at work, I asked for a sign as to whether I should hand in my notice or stick it out. When I was single, I looked for signs for the person I was meant to be with. When I was in a relationship, I still looked for signs for the person I was meant to be with.
I had complete faith that the universe would provide me with everything I needed, and if it didn’t, I told myself that it was simply not meant to be.
I can see now that I was very lost and looking for a way out of situations that were making me miserable, but I did not have the strength, or confidence, to trust my instincts and leap into the unknown. I always needed a sign, a backup plan, someone or something else to make the decision for me.
Eventually, everything became a sign and I felt overwhelmed and confused trying to decipher what the universe was trying to tell me to do.
So, I switched it off.
I stopped searching for the hidden messages in everything and paid no attention to the glaringly obvious signs that it was time to move on from certain people and situations, until those signs became more and more persistent and impossible to ignore.
After a truly horrific year, I finally left a job that had stolen my sleep and sanity for probably twice as long. My workplace had turned into a very toxic environment for me, for reasons I won’t go into now, and I was extremely stressed and unhappy there. I had no idea what I was going to do, or how I would pay my rent, but the relief that swept over me the instant I said ‘I’m done’ did wonders for my sense of well-being.
As soon as I took back control over my own destiny, everything in my life started to change.
Within a few weeks, I was offered a new job. Not a forever job, but one that gave me space to clear my head and be happy again. Shortly afterwards, I moved in with my sister. A room became available in her flat at the same time my tenancy was coming to a premature end, which I might have seen as a sign if I was still looking for them, but instead, we thought of it as serendipity.
I had barely finished unpacking when I met the Greek God(zilla). Looking back now, there were many signs that we were meant to build a life together, but that is not what I went on at the time. I had a knowing feeling about him, and I was willing to risk being wrong.
Over the years since, I have slowly started becoming aware of the people and events that come into my life again. While I am not a deeply religious person, I do think that there is something connecting all of us. I think we are drawn to certain people because they offer us something we need at that time – a friend for a reason, a season, or a lifetime – as the saying goes.
I also think we stumble across words in books, quotes, films, blogs and songs that resonate with us at a time when we need to hear them the most.
Maybe the coincidences are there to guide and reassure us, or maybe they are totally meaningless; but what I do believe, is that opportunity knocks all the time and we are the only ones who can open the door.