I’ve never been that good at following directions. I don’t even open the manuals that come with new appliances or gadgets , I don’t follow recipes well, and I have been know spend a large amount of time wandering around lost both in NZ and all over the world often choosing to ignore road signs and the voice of my GPS system that are trying to direct me to where I need to go. That works ok for me if I am in a position to be able to ask for help or directions, but I have found myself alone in non-English speaking parts of the world before and thought so many times how much easier my life in that moment would have been if I had committed to following the signs.
When I am on my own, in the quietness of my own thoughts I often ask the universe to show me a sign so that I know which route to take to get where I going, or to confirm the decision path that is right for me. Some sort of sign to ease the panic in the pit of my stomach that I sometimes feel when the I am gripped by indecision or the frustration that comes when I feel stuck in a battle pushing the proverbial up hill. Living on my own I get to spend a lot of time in my own head and I have learned from experience that when I travel, the benefits to my soul and creativity are endless. I make a conscious effort to have an overseas trip every year and to travel within godzone every couple of months to keep those levels up there knowing it is a deep part of who I am.
Last weekend I went to Wellington to see a dear friend. She is much more gentile and refined than I ,so when I spend time with her, because of her nurturing caring ways I always return refreshed and raring to go. Laughter, love and kindness does that to one and time can never be recovered so I pack as much of that into those brief visits as I can knowing how good for me they are. I always reflect on the flight home from anywhere the benefit of the short break and make promises with myself about sticking to what I believe is my path in life. I’m not totally sure what that is but I know it is writing in some form. I write for my own pleasure but over the years I believe it has brought the odd laugh to many and I dream of turning that creativity into a sustainable lifestyle. To date circumstance hasn’t really allowed me embrace my creative side as such - I have been too busy making a living to have a life but that is a work in progress.
Six years ago, I self-published a book on my dating experiences following a marriage breakup. Its honesty and frankness was polarising and enlightening to the many who read it but for me it was really the start of a cathartic process that helped me heal and learn. The 350 odd books I did sell never made me a millionaire but I allowed me to cross another achievement off my bucket list. I moved on because I like to think I am not that person anymore but still write for my own amusement.
Wrestling with carry on luggage in excess of what you are allowed, I was the last person on the plane to be seated right up the very back on the way home from Wellington. When I slipped into the aisle seat beside Karen I immediately felt a connection of sorts. I’m guessing she was about my age and exuded warmth and humour immediately. I learned she was travelling south to spend a couple of weeks with her daughter and grandchildren before returning to her job as 2IC at a camping ground at Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. Its only an hour flight back to Timaru from Wellington and in that time I learned we had a few parallels in life. Following a marriage break up she had rented out her home, left the corporate world as an HR Manager and packed her belongings into “Maxine”, her small campervan and started on a journey of self-discovery like no other. Maxine is home now and has been for the last four years as she tours around NZ in her, parking up for stints at a time doing casual assignments as a sitter for camping grounds and the like. The wages aren’t what they used to be but the freedom, people she has met, and experience she has gained can never be measured in dollar terms. Like me , she does think about the cost of this lifestyle v’s a comfortable retirement and tries to maintain a healthy balance between living and planning for the other. I recognised the pull of the gyspy and her zest for life and I felt briefly that maybe I wasn’t so mad after all to be living a similar sort of life. I felt I had met a soul sister and it was so refreshing. We exchanged phone numbers and discussed how it was maybe a moment of synchronicity in time when we were meant to meet. She too had the odd yarn out loud with the universe it might seem.
Later that night I got a text and photo from her that blew me away totally. Before she had left the Coromandel, her boss had given her a couple of books in a package to read on her time away. After the grandchildren had settled to bed the evening of her arrival, she took the package from her case. What are the chances that opening that package would reveal that one of those very books was the one I had written six years prior. It was personally autographed by me to someone who must have purchased it at the launch in Invercargill back in 2013. How random is that?
I’m not sure what that is a sign of, but the thing about any type of sign that you are presented with is that it’s always open to interpretation . Signs are neither good or bad until you make the choice on how to interpret them. My advice to you is recognise them when they come, trust them and renounce all limits that you may have been grappling with, and have the courage to follow your heart and live your own story .
On Thursday I found a white feather under my desk. I’m not sure if it is one that had come out of Miss Marple’s arse when I was feeding the hens before I left for work and attached itself to my coat or if it was a sign that the angels had left to remind me that walking to the beat of your own drum is the best way for me. Only time will tell.