I Believe In Signs
If you asked me six months ago if I believed in signs, I don’t think I would have said yes. If you had asked me if there is some higher power guiding my decisions and my life, I probably would have said, “Sorta. But not really.” I feel like I have control over my fate, my destiny. My decisions are mine, my future is mine. I believe there is a God, but I don’t believe he worries himself with the day-to-day details of my life. But I’m here to tell you today, I believe in signs. And I believe in guidance.
Yesterday, my blog was featured on Freshly Pressed. If you don’t know what that is, it is a feature on the WordPress home page where an editor selects a handful of blogs each day to feature. Those blogs receive incredibly increased traffic and comments. Because of being Freshly Pressed yesterday, people who never would have stumbled upon my blog in the vast blogosphere were suddenly aware of my writing, my story. If only for a brief moment. All this is to say that being selected is a very big deal, to me anyway. And it’s been a goal of mine since I started the blog earlier this summer. A goal that seemed impossible to achieve.
Before I go any further, I’d like to take a moment to welcome the new readers who have decided to stick around for a bit – it’s nice to meet you! I promise that I have some fun posts coming next week, and not all of my writing is as serious and emo as today’s and yesterday’s posts are/were!
I take the fact that my blog was Freshly Pressed yesterday as a sign – I don’t know if it’s from some higher power, but it means something significant to me. Because I had just on Tuesday stated to a group of 70 people at my company retreat that my personal goal for the next year is to cultivate my newly found passion for writing. I told them how I used to actually want to be a writer, imagine that, back in high school. I took creative writing classes and submitted poetry to competitions. And then I went to college and wrote term papers and essays. Then I went to work at a public relations agency, and I wrote press releases, brochures, PR/marketing plans and client e-mails. And then I cancelled my wedding just two and half months before the big day, and now I write stories, emotions, aspirations and fears. And suddenly, almost miraculously, I want to be a writer again. Yesterday’s Freshly Pressed recognition was like a little pat on the back from someone out there – you are on the right track. Keep writing. Keep believing in yourself.
I want to tell you about another sign that got me to where I am today. I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a while, but wasn’t sure how to approach it. But here it goes.
It was the end of April, and I was in full wedding planning mode. I was marrying the man of my dreams, the man I had spent countless years with, the man with whom I thought I was going to get pregnant, as early as on the honeymoon. I went to Fort Lauderdale on a trip for work. After my work was completed, I headed to the airport to catch my flight home to Richmond.
I was on time for said flight. In fact, I was an hour early. I went through security and was sitting in my gate, waiting for my flight to board. I remember a fellow passenger complimented me on my engagement ring, and we chatted a bit about my wedding preparations before she headed off to buy a snack. I sat there, excited to head home to my fiancée. I had missed him after our few days apart.
I missed my flight sitting in the terminal. I was not listening to headphones, I was not distracted. I did not fall asleep. Yet somehow, I missed my flight, when apparently the flight attendants repeatedly called my name over the loudspeaker. First call, final boarding, I missed it all. I sat there oblivious to my surroundings.
When I realized the flight should have left by now, I went to the front to ask one of the flight attendants what the problem was. She looked at me, awestruck. “Are you Catherine? We’ve been searching for you everywhere!” Unfortunately, there were no other flights to Richmond that day, so I had to head back to my hotel and wait for a flight the following day.
I arrived at my hotel around 3 p.m. and was overcome by an intense feeling of sadness. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I was miserable. I was embarrassed that I had missed my flight, but this was more than that. I slept the entire afternoon on the plush hotel room bed, desperately, unbelievably sad, but not knowing why.
I made the flight home the next day, and my ex fiancée and I went away for the weekend. And then I came home. And I found the first of his lies.
Before anyone asks, I’m not here to go into the intense and hurtful details of my breakup. That is in the past. What I will say is I found a lie that my ex told me, a lie that I would not have found if I had not been out of town that additional night. He had a good enough excuse behind this lie, but a part of me fundamentally didn’t believe it.
I slept in the extra bedroom that night and I prayed on it. And I don’t generally pray. I prayed to God that He would show me the way. Should I believe my fiancée? He had a reasonable excuse. I mean, I was marrying the man in less than three months. I was supposed to trust him completely. I certainly knew him well enough, it had been seven years. I didn’t think it was possible to know another human being more. Or, should I doubt him? I was incredibly torn and had a very restless night’s sleep.
The next morning, I awoke with a purpose. I called in sick to work and proceeded to discover a million lies my ex had told me – some big, some small. Some incredible deal breakers, lies that make you wonder who you’ve been sleeping next to for so many years, some that just make you say, “Why in the world would you lie to me about that? That’s so silly!”
At one point during the day, I caught an episode of Oprah on TV. That damn Oprah, she always gets to me. During this episode there was an expert that was talking about intuition. He said that humans are the only animals that ignore their intuition. We’re the only animals that explain away our common sense, ignore the feeling in our guts that says something is just not right. If a deer hears a noise in the bushes, he doesn’t run in to investigate. He goes the other way. Why don’t we, as humans, do this?
My gut, my intuition, every single part of me was screaming that my relationship with this man was no longer right. I could not stay here. I couldn’t even breathe here. The deal breakers were too much, the betrayals made me ill and the absolute depression and sadness I felt in that hotel room in Fort Lauderdale was just a precursor to the pain I would feel now.
My mom spent the night with me that night, listening to my sobs. I took that entire week off of work. I cancelled a wedding, and cried on the phone with almost every vendor. I learned that my friends and family are so much more amazing than I ever could have fathomed. And a few weeks later, I moved out, began to move on and started my journey.
And it all started with a missed flight in Fort Lauderdale. Some may say that it was a coincidence that I missed that flight and everything else happened, but I will tell you that my soul says I would be married today if I didn’t miss that flight. I might not have been married forever, this all had to come out sometime, but the timing was perfect.
So yes, I believe in signs. And I believe that I am on the right track. I am living the life I’m supposed to live now. I make mistakes. I am learning. I am confused. But I am gratified to have this second chance.
No, I do not plan on going into the details of what my ex fiancée did or what kinds of lies he told. I am working to forgive him, not so that we can be together, but so that I do not harbor ill will toward another human being. That doesn’t hurt anyone but me. That is my past, and I am looking forward.
I wanted to share this story with my old readers and new readers alike, because that’s what I’m doing here, sharing my story and my journey. But I also wanted to share this story because I want to remind anyone reading to listen to your intuition. Pay attention to signs. The universe tells us things, subtly sometimes, and it’s our job to take note.
Do you believe in signs? Have you had any moments where you just felt like someone was tapping you on the shoulder and telling you something? Did you listen?