Reading the Universe’s Signs

Reading the Universe’s Signs

Life gets away from you sometimes. You think you’ve got everything well in hand. You’re just trucking along, jumping the hurdles, making things work. And then you hit a speed bump. All the various packages holding all the disorganized building blocks of your life – the ones you keep precariously perched wherever there was room to put them – start to spill and tumble from their usual resting spaces. You grab for them, hoping you can use your ninja-like reflexes to retrieve them from the air.

But alas, none of us are super human (or at least, we can’t be all the time).

It’s been a while since I talked about what’s going on in my life. Sure, I talk about my writing a lot, and the struggles of balancing my work, social and personal lives. But I don’t think I’ve written a life update blog since we moved back to Canada from England. And I’m somewhat shocked to realize that move happened four years ago!

Things have actually been going great!

Equilibrium is my favorite place to live. That delightful balance where all you really have to manage is the day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month activities that make up adult life. (What we all playfully refer to as ‘adulting’ these days.) Once we settled into our new house, it was shockingly easy to find that state of existence here. My husband is thriving in his new job and loves it to pieces. And while I haven’t advanced as far in my career as I would like, I’ve certainly made progress.

But trying to live in that state of balance forever is, I suppose, what gets you in the end. If life has taught me one thing, it’s that you have to be on the lookout for opportunity if you want to get lucky. It just so happens we got extremely lucky when we bought this house. Within a year of owning it, our land values skyrocketed (although so did our property taxes). Now we’re sitting on a nice chunk of equity – a vastly different experience than the one we had with our first house.

About two months ago, some dear friends of ours were forced to drop everything and move. They decided to rush-buy a house because it would be cheaper and more amenable in the long-term. We did our best to help. But, from six hours away, the best we could do was offer a roof and a bed during their transition period between places. I remember watching the rush and stress from afar and counting my blessings that I wasn’t in the thick of it.

Be careful what you wish for…

Turns out the safest time to buy a new house is when you don’t actually need one. So guess who’s in the thick of it now?

If you’ve ever bought a house, you know how stressful the process is. When we bought this house, we had only a month. So we had to choose something that was already on the market. We didn’t even think we could afford this house until we crunched a lot of numbers. Money was tight that first year. But it was worth it for a house we saw ourselves occupying for ten years. Now, a bare four years later, we’re looking for an upgrade, hoping we can get lucky a second time if we play our cards right.

And if we were just buying a house, I probably wouldn’t be as big a wreck as I am. But the financial burdens of purchasing real estate force you to evaluate every other aspect of your life. Like the fact that you’re a struggling author who hasn’t really figured out how to sell her work just yet. And the fact that you don’t really think you can wait another five years for your career to take off. Though you by no means believe you should give up.

Thankfully, my husband basically qualifies for sainthood. Thankfully he understands investments and how to be smart with your money while you’re planning for retirement. Things that make my eyes gloss over whenever I try to research them. And thankfully, he’s so dedicated to supporting my career goals that he’s got back up plans for just in case, though not all of them are easy pills to swallow.

It’s in our nature to search for signs.

A week ago, in the quiet time just after midnight, I laid in bed and asked the universe to give me a sign. I was at my lowest point, terrified I’d never make anything of myself as an author, and biting my nails over a house that seemed promising but didn’t quite work mathematically. I was desperate to feel certain about something.

The next morning, a bird flew headlong into our guestroom window and dropped dead on our back deck.

My anxieties exploded. Surely this was a sign of failure. Surely my inadequacies are dooming the family I want to build to a life of squalor and struggle. And surely this meant I should give up on my dreams, make a full 180 and focus on money instead of passions.

I’m lucky I have amazing friends. Friends willing to catch me when I fall, dust me off, and set me back on my feet. Friends to remind me that death is not an omen of death or even failure. That it’s a sign of change and transformation. Friends who are willing to help me punch through the walls standing in my way, if that’s what it takes to get back on the right track.

So at the end of a rough and tiresome week, I look back over all the hard conversations and tears, both happy and sad, and realize that the universe did send me a sign. It just wasn’t the one I thought.

I’m looking forward to the next step – whatever it may be!

I’ll be the first to admit I’m bad at asking for help. I’m not sure what convinced me that I need manage every crisis, no matter how small, all on my own. But whenever the going gets tough, I tell myself I just need to buckle down. And I do.

But everything is easier when you have someone to help bear the burden. And when you can’t find the way forward alone, sometimes it’s easier just to ask. This week, expressing my frustrations to a few friends was enough to get me the information I needed. Explaining my needs to a few other friends was enough to help me set things in motion. There was no hassle, no hours of crying into my tea cup while I scoured Google, and no uncertainty.

What I realized is that I don’t have to figure this all out on my own. And I certainly don’t have to figure it out right this second. I have a support system, and a good one. There are people who care about me, who are cheering for me. And if I just speak up a little more often, it will make my life a whole lot easier.

Wherever we end up, whatever form our next house takes, and whatever the next step in my career turns out to be, I know things are going to work out.

What about you, dear reader? What signs has the universe given you of late?

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