In a lot of ways, real life is like a story. You can have a Meet Cute in real life, or find some foreshadowing to a plot twist or two… if you know where to look, that is. You might even get your happily ever after.
And that’s the goal, isn’t it? To achieve some goal and enter into a state of happily ever after?
But how do you get there? And is there ever really a “happily ever after?”
I don’t know about “happily ever after,” but I do know that it is possible to achieve your goals. One of the keys to this is to understand that each goal will lead to another one, and that this is part of what it means to be alive, so not to expect any one goal to be the source of all your happiness.
Basically, live in the now.
You can strive toward a goal, but to truly achieve your purpose, that goal may shift. Life is ephemeral, short, ever-changing, and you have to go with the flow in order to be successful.
More importantly, you have to go with the flow in order to be truly happy.
Now, I know it all sounds like New Age gobbledy-gook, but there is some truth to it.
Let me tell you a tale…
I didn’t always want to be a teacher. I first thought about it in the third grade, and I always came back to teaching, but there were other dreams. Briefly, I wanted to be a famous actress, but knew because of my looks I’d only ever be a character actress. I learned early on that people have a hard time thinking of big girls of a racially ambiguous background as ingenues.
I also wanted to be a writer, a pediatrician, a restaurateur, and a marketing director. Other than the pediatrician, they all had something to do with being creative, but in the end, teaching is what I always came back to.
The journey to becoming a teacher wasn’t as easy as one might think, given the fact that even when I started, teachers were beginning to leave the field en masse. The job itself was easy enough for me.
I have a natural gift for it, as I found out when I took a substitute teaching position. I was so good at it, that the school offered me a position pending my acceptance into an alternative certification program. I got all my paperwork together, and went in to sign my contract, and lo and behold, there was no position for me after all.
They had given it to a baseball coach, because sports brings money into the school, so a coach gets priority no matter what.
Also, it turned out that the superintendent had not been particularly careful with the funds and had gotten the entire district into a massive hole, like multi-million dollar hole. So there had been only the one English position to fill… and, as I said, coaches get priority.
This was a new experience for me. Prior to teaching, just about every job I ever wanted, I simply got. My first part time job, I put in applications at multiple places, but I wanted the job at the local pizza place, and I got it. First waitressing job was the same thing. First work study position in college, same. I wasn’t even qualified, and I managed to get the Editor-in-Chief position because I interview well. Then, after college, I managed to talk my way into a marketing position the same way. Again, not qualified, but I became one half of a two person marketing team.
I credit it to my ability to Mask (it’s an autistic thing).
But teaching was different. I had a calling to do it, but I didn’t really know how to make it happen. I decided it was my goal, but left the details up to the Universe. I began doing the research to begin the journey, but also put in the notice to end the lease on my apartment. I decided that if I didn’t get a job by the time my lease was up, I was meant to go somewhere else. When no other teaching positions seemed to appear, I thought perhaps that meant that I was supposed to go back to my familial home and finish my teaching certification first.
Then I got a phone call from the mother of a friend of mine. She asked me if teaching was what I really wanted to do, and then told me she could get me an interview. She just happened to go to church with the superintendent of a very small school that was in need of an English teacher.
I had been fighting my purpose, my destiny by trying to be everything except a teacher. I left marketing because I was miserable. Yes, I was being creative (remember how all my previous goals had been creative?), but I wasn’t making a difference. It felt hollow.
And I was grossly underpaid… but that’s a story for another time.
The substitute teaching job showed me that teaching was a major part of my purpose. I was good at it. Almost unnaturally good at it. I just needed the way “In”. My friend’s mom got me that in.
So, I go for the interview. Two very important things happened at the interview:
- I observed my surroundings and the person conducting the interview. I mirrored him when I spoke… which I do automatically if I don’t actively stop myself (it’s that Masking thing), but I also made mental notes about the objects around the office. He kept a Bible verse and more than one cross on the wall. As someone who is a little more fluid in their beliefs, this could have been uncomfortable, but I made it work.
- I openly acknowledged my belief in fate right there in his office.
Here was this very religious man who was in desperate need of a teacher. He probably would have taken me no matter what, but because of my mirroring him and because of how I answered key questions, he seemed thrilled that I landed in his lap. Then, just as he was considering giving me the job, he got a phone call from the Elementary principal who had just gotten a divorce and was moving out of his rent house.
When he hung up the phone, he told me the job was mine if I wanted it, and that he could even help me get moved into a house if I was willing to relocate.
My lease was set to be up at the end of that very month, within only two or three weeks. This was the sign I needed, and I told him so… but in a way he would understand. I said, “God doesn’t have to hit me over the head twice! I’ll take it!”
It’s easy to think of this as simply a coincidence, but in reality, it was my goals and the goals of the Divine falling into alignment. I set my intentions, and remained open to the way that God or the Gods chose to fulfill it, and in the time that He/They chose to grant it to me.
It was an interesting moment in my life where the signs were obvious. Events fell into place, even though, for a while, I was certain that failure was imminent and that I would have to move back into my parents’ house. Instead, I put the energy out there and watched for the signs to lead me in the right direction.
I’ve spoken before about how that job ended with equal synchronicity. There had been signs telling me to leave, but I was stubborn, and so the day a coyote ran in front of me on my way to work (Coyote, the Trickster who hits you over the head to teach you a lesson) was the day that the new principal told me that I was too progressive for that school and that I should look elsewhere for the following school year.
It’s noticing the little things, the signs, that help us to stay in the Flow of the Universe.
Think of them as your own personal foreshadowing.
Right now, our personal flow seems to be stopped because of the CoronaVirus, but this gives us a unique opportunity to really look at the signs around us in order to help us reconnect with the Divine Spirit of the Universe in order to get back on track with our goals or destiny.
What things in your life seem to call to you now that you have more time on your hands?
For me, it was this blog. Workshops about blogging, writing, and spirituality (separately, not together) have been abundant during the pandemic and the subsequent quarantine. I’ve been able to reconnect on a spiritual level, but also to have the time to focus on making this blog what I would like it to be. Each day brings some new insight, and it feels amazing to be so full of inspiration and ideas!
In other words, I feel like I’m more in Flow than I have been in a while, and I think it shows!
I even feel a little closer to some sense of Happily Ever After.
How about you? Is there anything that you feel connected or called to? What signs have you experienced that have helped to foreshadow events in your own life?