Signs and Billboards
In the movie, Fools Rush In, a sidewalk prophet warned that “there are signs everywhere.” Now, typically I am not a superstitious person. I do not see dire outcomes when I trip at the start of a journey, and I am more likely to try to befriend a passing black cat, than to fear what its passing may mean. I do not rely on four-leaf clovers, or throwing salt over my shoulder. I may avoid walking under a ladder, but that is more a matter of safety than superstition.
Lately, though, I am beginning to realize that the universe works in mysterious ways. I believe that certain signs may be placed along our path to outline possibilities. It is up to us whether we see them, or heed them. And I believe that if we ignore them, the signs may grow in size until they all but hit us over the head.
As you know by now, I have always dreamed of being a writer. I hid this desire from the world. I avoided writing anything for fear of being discovered or learning that I was not any good at it, or worse, that I was good at it. Fear of success has derailed more dreams than fear of failure.
Along the way, there have been signs that I did not fully understand. I have a strange addiction to office supplies and cannot leave Staples without at least one notebook and a new pen. I also have an addiction to bookstores. When I enter one, I feel a sense of excitement and if left to my own devices, can spend hours wondering the shelves. I have more books than I can read in a year. Over the last decade, I have acquired a large collection of writing books despite ignoring my need to write. Signs? Maybe.
Once I decided to write, really write, the signs in my path grew more insistent as though the universe was nodding its head in agreement.
I began the final rewrite on my novel a few weeks ago. In one scene, the main character must choose between two doors, one marked “onward,” and the other marked “back.” Once she commits to a path there is no turning back or changing her mind. The day after I was editing that scene, my friend tagged me in a photo on Facebook that said “Don’t look back you’re not going that way.” Honestly, it gave me chills. A sign? A mere coincidence?
A few hours later, while checking my email, I got a post from a site I subscribe to called the “Daily Om.” The title in my email in-box read “No Going Back.” Of course, I had to read it! It said the following:
“Once the sun rises, it doesn’t go backward but instead follows its path in one direction. It may appear to stand still for a moment in time, or to move more slowly at some point or another, but really it is steadily moving forward on its path. We are the same way, and once we have moved through something we can never really go back. We may be resting or revisiting issues that seem old, and it’s natural to feel stuck, but in truth we are always taking the next important step forward on our path.”
The only explanation I have for these words finding me at that particular moment is that it is a sign, a sign telling me that this dream I have just started to turn toward is the right one. I believe that when you finally start to move in the direction that the universe has been pointing you, signs will start appearing everywhere to reinforce the message.
My getting three of them within a 24 hour period was more than just a sign. Talk about a universal shout out! That was the universe dropping a billboard in my lap and screaming, “YES! FINALLY!”