In my last blog I wrote about signs from The Universe. Do you believe in them? Are they real and true? Are you paying attention?
But what about being “led” by The Universe? And by that I mean tossing away your well-researched and thoroughly vetted LIFE PLAN and allowing The Universe to guide you to your next destination … and the one after that?
We North Americans live in a rat-race packaged and parceled into handy boxes. We plan everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – until nothing is left to chance. We like order and predictability, structure and parity. We DO NOT like surprises. Unless it’s a birthday party (and some of us don’t even like those) or a big lottery win. We like to know where we are going, how we are going to get there and exactly what time it will be when we arrive.
I gave up on that shit decades ago.
In my teens and twenties I KNEW I was going to be a musical theatre actress or a singing star.
In my thirties I came to the realization that neither was going to materialize in a life-sustaining manner so what did I do? I floated. I assessed. I took on some creative projects and eventually, a job doing radio promotions landed in my lap. I didn’t crave it nor did I plan for it. But it was a fun job so I took it. Did I have any idea where it would lead? Nope.
Two years later I was offered a job in radio. On the air! I had no formal training and no college degree (I did have a University degree in drama, somewhat helpful but not exactly a requirement for on-air work). Had I been planning for a radio career? Longing for one? Devising a scheme to get me from all-nights to weekends to middays to the morning show?
Nope. But it sounded fun so I took it. Four months later I was doing the morning show at the #1 country station in Canada.
MY point is – NONE of this was ever part of my great life plan. But I went with the flow and here I am, 31 years later, still working on radio.
But I think that allowing The Universe to lead us goes even deeper. I believe we must be open to the knowledge that we may not actually know what we need. We may think we know what we need but that might just be what we want. What we need might be something entirely different.
I left Guelph in 2011 because I WANTED to live near water. I WANTED Southampton but I couldn’t afford Southampton and when a chance visit to my cousin in Meaford introduced me to that lovely town, I changed dreams.
When I moved to Meaford I never thought in a million years I would return to Guelph. But then I met my beloved and he was offered a job at HIS dream University (Guelph) so back we went. Was this what I wanted? What I had planned for my dotage? Was this my dream?
Nope. But I went back for him.
And my mother too, as it turns out. She was aged and declining and being that much closer to her was a blessing. I didn’t understand at the time how much of a blessing it would be. But in hindsight I realize I was brought to exactly the place I needed to be.
Also because of my son. Living in Guelph brought me an hour closer to his new home In Toronto. It allowed me to help him through his first major heartbreak, his first record release and every “Mom, I really need to borrow your car” moment.
I also “needed” to be there for my friend C. She was in a relationship that “needed” to end and she “needed” a bit of help getting there. Had I still lived in Meaford (instead of five blocks from her house) my help would have been so much harder to access. Also there was M, my new next-door Guelph neighbour. I “needed” to be in Guelph on HER street so that she and I could become friends. We “needed” each other (and still do).
Five years later, when we left Guelph and headed back to Meaford, I understood completely how The Universe had led me to exactly where I was meant to be.
So, was I meant to be back in Meaford? At first I seriously had no idea. We had purchased a trailer at Hope Bay and I KNEW I loved it there in the summertime but where was I meant to live? Meaford, on paper, met most of my requirements. We had a lovely home that we could rent out on AirBnB all summer long if we wanted to. We were just a bit over an hour from Hope Bay. We had friends. I could do my radio shows from home. My beloved could probably find work. Our dog had a big back yard and we were close (enough) to water.
Yes, on paper it all looked good. In my gut it all felt wrong. Hope Bay was feeling more and more like home and Meaford was just some nice house we visited.
I determined (without any help from The Universe) that we were DESTINED to move to Hope Bay! That was it! The master plan! My favourite place on this planet was DESTINED to be my forever home! How could I not have seen it all along? It was right there in front of my eyes!
There was nothing to buy at Hope Bay, not land nor new-build nor a fixer-upper, that we could afford or liked. Our Meaford house sold and there was still nothing. What the heck? The Universe was letting me down!
One month before closing I was forced to widen my real estate scope. We looked at three properties NOT at Hope Bay (but still on The Bruce). The fourth was the winner. We walked in, we fell in love, we purchased, we moved, we began to settle. For a moment I guess I thought we were “settling”. It wasn’t Hope Bay after all.
Then we discovered the sunsets. We always knew they were here but we had no idea they would actually grace our living room window for several months of the year. We met P, our new neighbour, and quickly learned that having a neighbour THISCLOSE to you is actually nice – when the neighbour is actually nice. We met B and K (and their dogs) and discovered insta-besties I know we were destined to know. Our fabulous Hope Bay friends were less than half an hour away. Our new home was beyond a dream come true – it was the home I never knew I wanted (or needed) until we were in it. J, one of my Hope Bay friends had said (before we moved) – “Maybe it’s your forever home?”
I think J is right.
I hope when you read this travelogue you will understand that I NEVER planned any of this. I am an accomplished organizer, a fastidious administrator and a diligent facilitator. ONCE I know what is happening. But I have learned to let what is going to happen, happen. I have learned pay attention, be open and most importantly, be FLEXIBLE. I follow the signs, I listen to my inner voice (difficult at times because my outer voice is pretty damn loud) and I allow The Universe to lead.
Do I have any idea what’s going to happen next?
Not a clue.
I am not going to worry about it. I am going to go watch the sun set in my living room window.