I stopped trying, the coincidences started- now I’m freaking out.
Something strange is going on. Am I…losing it?
Because really, it’s starting to get a little weird. I have been slow to communicate these seemingly odd events or coincidences with my friends or family, but there have been several synchronicities and they are gaining momentum and magnitude that I can’t ignore.
Let me just start by saying:
- I am not really into esoteric stuff. I have a high tolerance for different ideas and I’m intellectually curious, but I don’t integrate so-called ‘new age things’ into my life in any way. There are no chrystals in my apartment, I don’t meditate, I pretend to like yoga because I think it would be good for me but I’m not consistent enough to do it. I would take a Thai massage over getting on the mat, any day.
- With the advent of the global pandemic, as for so many folks, shit got real. Priorities shifted, and, when faced with possible and imminent death, mine crystalized with unexpected clarity: “Leave this country, leave this familial constellation, go to your centre, return to your source.”
And that is literally what I did. I stopped trying to live the dream I had imagined for so long. I just let go of trying so hard. And what's more, I realized the extensive privilege I had in being able to choose to go back to a place and just be.
I packed up my entire life of 5 gritty years in Brittany France. What started with failure and rejection, had eventually rounded the corner into a successful reimagined life in a coastal town, was, after all, not the ticket for me. I said goodbye to my hardwon understanding of cultural signposts, 2nd-degree humour, joie de vivre, my memory of our garden, the feeling of ocean air, the excitement over fresh bread. Much like everyone, I said goodbye to routines, rituals with friends, favourite coffee hangouts and restaurants, dance classes, life as I knew it. I tucked my two cats under my arm, gathered my courage, and left my Love and my lifelong dream. I climbed into the van and I said adieu to it all.
I drove for 2 days across France and to Germany where my family is from. I released my now ex-future husband from all expectations and hopes, I let go of the project of a life by the sea and a family of my own. I had no plan, I quit the job I had just accepted at the University, and embraced short-term chaos in the hopes of long-term peace.
When did the coincidences start to happen?
Well, they were sort of happening all along, but I only really started paying attention to them since my body began to relax. I could feel that happen when I was able to close the door behind me to my now tiny (but all mine) apartment adjacent to my parent's house. Yup, literally back to the source.
In Germany, the pandemic frenzy eased up long enough in the summer months for me to meet a handful of people, go on a hike or two, and prepare for winter. Each of the few people I met in that short time, led to new possibilities in important realms of my life in very tangible ways. I can’t overlook the first and strangest coincidence that happened shortly after I had arrived.
I was chatting with a lady I’d just met at a dance festival. We were sat randomly at a table enjoying our lunch with others from the group. Our discussion revealed many common interests, and she told me about her children and one of them, Bodo, who is a Waldorf teacher. I told her I had experience being a student at a Waldorf school in Toronto and lived in France as her son had.
We left the restaurant to return to the dance hall, rounded a corner when suddenly she stopped in her tracks.
In a city of 160,000 people, there he was, sitting by a fountain chatting to a friend. Rather flabbergasted, she rushed over, introduced us, we swapped numbers and occasionally called one another to chit chat in French.
A short time later, he called me to tell me the school he worked at was looking for an English teacher. It was a school that I myself had attended for 6 months on exchange in high school. I had no contacts left there, apart from him now. I accepted the offer and was smoothly integrated into the faculty without much searching or bellyaching about finding my next job. What an unbelievable gift- especially after living in an economically challenged region for so long!
After barely starting, the school was on holiday again, and I was on a drive back from an exciting few days spent outside on mountain hikes and lakeshores. The drive was long, the mountains gave way to steep and rolling hills, and my mind meandered with them. Sometime in the afternoon, I had a clear and distinct thought about a former language teacher of mine in Toronto (where I grew up). She was not a good singer, but it was her conviction when singing that convinced us kids that we had better sing along and help her out. I paused in my mind to appreciate that about her and remembered her very fondly as a person. On some level I suppose I thought to myself, I should apply that conviction in my own classes.
The next day, my mother stopped by for coffee. We chatted about the trip and suddenly, after a moment, she said: “ Oh, there is some sad news from Canada- your language teacher from grade school passed away yesterday morning”.
She had passed during the window of time in which I had been thinking intensely about her on the other side of the world. This was a coincidence that was a lot for me to process. There were goosebumps and a few tears that followed.
I cannot explain it, I had no contact with this person for over 20 years, we were not close, it felt totally random and deeply touching. And basically, quite freaky.
On a lighter note, there was a strange and funny coincidence that happened just two days ago while chatting with a friend. Full disclosure, I am an enthusiastic cat lady, and I get great joy from creatures in my care and trying to understand their needs. It was in this vein that we were chatting about my friend Céline’s neighbourhood cat that sometimes came to visit and sleep on her couch.
Mickey the cat had made himself extremely scarce recently, due to some kind of event at the house when Céline’s baby niece was there for a visit. She said he must have gotten spooked, and hasn’t returned since. We talked about him for some time, and I told her that I often imagined what I wanted my cat or other cats to do, in the hopes they would somehow ‘get my vibes’. Actually, it’s when driving along a street and I see little paws under parked cars, I always think “please move towards the sidewalk and the houses” in the hopes none of them run out in front of my car. Basically, I really don’t want to hit a cat with my car. She said she would try it with picturing Mickey on the couch. We giggled, shrugged, and hoped he would return one day.
We finished our weekly zoom call on a wistful note, and in less than a minute she texted me an unbelievable picture.
She had sent me a picture of Mickey sitting in her hallway right that minute- now she was freaking out! I thought it was hilarious, now she could share the surprise and joy of these coincidences. But mostly, what the actual heck?
As the climate is deciding on what it wants this month and cherry blossoms huddle under the weight of snow, I’m resolving to not only notice these strange events but literally take note, write them down and share them. It just feels like the thing to do.
I hope there will be more, so I can get a grasp on it, and basically just pay attention to what is happening around me. One thing is for sure, I stopped ‘trying’ and just let life take an unknown course, one I have not designed and pined over all my life. It’s interesting to notice that this is when these coincidences started cropping up the most. Some people call it synchronicity, I just like going with the flow. I’m reminded of something Galina Singer said to me “what you want, wants you” and even though I don’t know specifically what I want, I more or less feel what needs to happen in the moment.
I’ve always had drive, I’ve always achieved things but I’m not competitive. If anything, I’m playful. And yet being able to achieve things isn’t feeling like the right driver or motor anymore. I know what I’m capable of and I don’t have to prove anything to myself anymore. And for now, that feels perfectly good enough. Let's see what happens!