Everyone, at some point, discovers something that they want so badly, but maybe doesn’t know how it will come into their possession.
I believe it always does if it was meant for you. And sometimes you don’t always notice when you get it! Our desires like to change guise to keep us on our toes. And more often than not, what appears on the journey of obtaining our goals seems like a failure. We seem to have many setbacks, but I argue that every step along the way is purposeful. It is readying you in some way, it is marinating the soup so that when you eat it, it’s that much more enjoyable. Logically, if every step is purposeful, there are no coincidences.
Here is an illustration from my own life that shows coincidences don’t exist.
A few years ago, I was living in Spain. It was a beautiful experience, but not the most productive time of my life. When I was there, I imagined myself going to grad school when I returned home. I decided I wanted to study SLA (Second Language Acquisition) and I talked to family and friends about it. The internet and everyone I knew seemed to warn me how expensive grad school was, with very little to no benefit upon graduation. Why would you spend $70k to have debt, no prospects and lost time? It didn’t seem logical. At the time, I wanted to be a professor and I felt pulled to study more because the knowledge I gained from my undergraduate years did not leave me with the confidence I wanted.
So, I applied to just two schools and left the rest up to fate. To my dismay, I got into both. Yes, poor me. The reason this was negative was because I agonized over that decision for what felt like an eternity. It consumed my existence for at least a month. I’m pretty sure that everything I thought about somehow directed back to that. I must have been so annoying to live with- sorry Gabby.
I knew that the University of Maryland was probably the better decision but the other university was in Hawaii, people. I could just see myself jumping off of waterfalls into clear water pools and swimming with turtles and dolphins in my free time. Like Ariel leaping from her animated body into real life. It was irresistible.
After a long decision-making process that didn’t bear any fruit, it was my last day to decide. I felt that I had exhausted all my own resources and I sat down to meditate, asking the universe to just send me the answer somehow. When I came to, the answer was very clear in my head- although the reasoning was absent. Maryland it was.
I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from there. But have you ever considered how much of a scammer you sound like on Craigslist saying you need to rent an apartment from Spain? I was pretty much going straight to Maryland, so I needed to set everything up while I was abroad. I had a couple of months, which seemed like too much time. However, everyone denied me and nothing matched the idea I had in my head.
As I sweated my ass off in my Spanish bed at night, I opened the window and listened to the hum of passing cars, imagining very clearly my life in Maryland. I was going to meet incredible friends. I was going to live in a Scandinavian-looking apartment that was in a safe neighborhood, just steps away from a forest walking trail for Luna and I. It would be close to school and have parking, so nothing would be an issue. I wanted vegan restaurants nearby and a cute town to walk in.
What I imagined was so specific and yet it all came true.
After months of searching, when it was getting down to the wire on time, I Facetimed a girl in the perfect apartment in Maryland. She gave me a tour and guaranteed me a contract. When I arrived in Maryland, I met with her and fell in love with the quaint little space. It was exactly what I wanted. However, a month after moving in, reality set in about my finances.
I couldn’t afford to live there! Apparently, it takes money to pursue your dreams. Silly me!
I began to look for jobs, feeling a growing concern in my pocket. No one answered. For such a bustling city, the jobsphere seemed like a quiet park. No one even looked at you when you screamed there.
At this point, I didn’t know what to do. I borrowed some money from my brother and decided I wasn’t going to worry about it. Worrying had never helped me in the past. I would apply for jobs and something would come around for me. I had the feeling of knowing that everything would turn out. -That’s important.- Not believing, but knowing.
One day the previous apartment tenant came by to grab some mail that was still being delivered to the flat. She complained that she had redirected it forever ago and wasn’t sure what the issue was with USPS! We got to talking and at the very end of our conversation on one of our visits, she mentioned that she had studied in the same department as me a while back.
We were so shocked! I will never forget this moment. She then looked at me and proceeded to talk about a job opening at her work, the National Foreign Language Center. She encouraged me to apply and sent me the link which was impossible to find browsing the interwebs. I said thanks and she went merrily on her way.
I sat on the couch, looking at the job ad, and eating dinner (probably edamame and mashed potatoes- it was a weird phase, okay?). Did I really want to apply to this? It seemed out of my league and not what I had in mind. I pushed the idea aside and watched TV.
A couple days later, I came back to my laptop and decided to apply. Why not, right? After a long interview process, (where they considered me for the job that was “out of my league”) they decided to place me in another role that they had been hiring for that I didn’t know of. They offered me an incredible salary, the ability to work from home or the office, and go to school when I needed, and then told me they would pay for my tuition.
To this day, I am so grateful the universe knocked and I opened. If not, I would have been in serious debt right now and working who knows where. That job gave me some beautiful friendships that I wanted most. And it gave me freedom in so many meanings of the word.
All of this is to say, don’t be discouraged with what seems like detours. What is meant for us will find us, but it does take a certain degree of action on our part. If I had never applied for the job when it was offered, I would have missed my chance. Be on the lookout for your opportunities because there are no coincidences about what falls in your lap!