Coincidences, Numbers and Pi Day

Little things have been happening lately that seem too random to be coincidental, but at the same time, my skeptical mind questions them. From what I hear, that voice of doubt is just the ego, trying to rationalize and basically darken my beautiful experience of becoming more aware of the interconnectedness of the universe and my existence in it. Here are a few things that have happened:

This one is completely random, and I don’t know what it means, but my friend mentioned Saskatchewan during a conversation, and about 10 or so minutes later, someone on a game show playing on his tv had the answer of Saskatchewan.

A couple of days ago, I was listening to a podcast, and had a thought of my mom. A few minutes later, the podcast speaker mentioned an owl, and my mom loved owls. A minute or so later, I found myself on a road that sounds just like her first name, and I wasn’t on this road on purpose. I had turned onto this road because I drive down a country road to work, and if someone gets behind me, I’ve taken to turning off to a side road and letting them pass. So I went down a side road with the intention of turning around in someone’s driveway, but then deciding to just drive into the neighborhood. Then I look up and I’m on this road that always reminds me of her, which I’ve never even been on before but have often passed.

The aforementioned road I only noticed a few weeks ago when I was thinking of Mom, and then I looked up and saw the road, which reminded me of her. I like to think it’s her, telling me she’s with me. The funny thing is, the name of the road is Ednor, and her first name was Edna, which she hated. Ednor, in my head, is pronounced like Edner, which sounds like something an old Southern lady would say, and it makes me laugh. It’s something Mom and my sisters and I would totally make fun of.

Another bizarre moment came when I went to post my business card and brochure up at a local organic grocery store. The bulletin board is in the café area located above a single table, so if you want to post anything and someone’s sitting there, you have to lean over them. So I go in to do this, and this guy, this young man of about 25, who I used to work with at a different organic grocery store than this one, is sitting there. In this area you don’t run into people you know very often, not unless I was in my own little town. I’d worked with him in a different town, and this was another area, we didn’t live in the same town, and I haven’t seen him in ages. He’s moving to Portland in a few days, he said. I can’t even remember his name, but he looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio, so every time I’d see him, I’d think of Leonardo DiCaprio, specifically in “Basketball Diaries.” That movie, which I think is based on a memoir, is so dark, and the main character spirals into such an abyss of addiction, but he’s so young and innocent and had so much potential and opportunity that just went down the drain. After giving it a lot of thought as to what my running into him at that spot like that might mean, I surmised that it reflects my own recovery, and how far I’ve come. Often these days I forget to appreciate and honor that because I’m only looking forward. But for me to have lived such an unhealthy lifestyle, from consuming so much alcohol every single night, to be less than a year from graduating with a master’s degree in science for nutrition, that’s a huge accomplishment that I haven’t really given myself credit for. I went from downing a bottle or two of wine every night, often crying myself into oblivion, to now, with eight and a half years of sobriety, posting my business card as an intern nutritionist at the local grocery store. Instead of being grateful for that, I’ve been worrying about how I’ll ever make it in this new career.

But back to the signs. To solidify the message, one of my classmates who I haven’t seen in a long time came into the store and talked to me for a while, and it turns out we’ll be graduating at the same time. I told her I didn’t know if I would walk, and she was surprised. Why wouldn’t I participate in this celebration, this acknowledgement of accomplishment? I hadn’t done it as an undergraduate, because at the time I was more focused on leaving and starting over, but none of it in a healthy way. I had tried to commit suicide a few months before that, and I left for London soon after, presumably to become a new person, and write a memoir, but instead I consumed lots of alcohol and ecstasy and stayed mired in depression for many more years, until I was 33. I went from that to today, where I’m working in an organic grocery store in the supplements department, studying nutrition. How miraculous is that? It seemed so impossible to me at the time. I thought I would never get sober or feel happy. Mom would be so proud. And she was proud. Maybe this is her message to me, to let me know how proud she is.

Lately I’ve been noticing different numbers and their possible significance. For one, I got sober at 33, and that number has so much significance I will just defer to this article. The most significant to me is Kuan Yin, who undergoes 33 transformations to attain salvation. Her image is depicted on one of my favorite Goddess Guidance cards from Doreen Virtue, and I used these cards through a few difficult times in my life, including after Mom died, even though I wasn’t sure if using them was doing anything other than giving me something for me to do during a time that I could not speak or write, and I didn’t want to listen to words. And weirdly, just now I looked off to the distance to collect my thoughts, and there’s now a clock there (I’m at my boyfriend’s house), which showed 9:33.

Another significant number is my sobriety date, and I don’t ever want to have to change it. This morning I googled the number and discovered that it’s the same as the zip code of the city where I took my last drink. It’s a city I hadn’t been to in a long time, and haven’t been back since: Savannah, Georgia. It’s also a city where a new friend of mine is from. She’s sober, doesn’t have a Southern accent (she dropped hers as a young child, I dropped mine in high school), has lived in London before… My sobriety date is the same as pi: 3/14, if you’re American, like me. If you’re English, or military, then it’s 14/3. But I’m American, and I got sober in 2010, so I had 5 years sober on 3.14.15, which are the first five digits of pi.

Last night I had a dream in which I had been drinking all along, and had been lying to everyone about my sobriety. It was so real that when I woke and realized it was a dream, I was so incredibly grateful.

I didn’t plan to get sober at 33, nor did I plan to get sober on Pi Day, but it seems significant that I did. That being said, I don’t think this significance is any more amazing than what your numbers or dates are for you. Everyone has their own journey, and mine is amazing for me just as yours can be amazing for you. This is what I’m learning, and we each need to give ourselves credit for our own journey.

This blog is expiring soon, and I can’t decide if I want to keep it up or not. I’m paranoid about having so much personal information about myself out there, especially as I’m getting closer to a real career for myself. At the same time, I feel like my soul will die if I don’t write. And for some reason, I can’t just write in my own personal journal that no one reads. For some reason, I want to put this out there, even though most of you don’t know me, nor I you.

So if you don’t see another post, or this link doesn’t work next time you come here, that is why. But I will be around. I just don’t know where or how yet, but I will continue to write and speak and learn my truth, and I hope you all will too.

Peace, love, and namaste,

TCH

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It Will Be Okay

My sweet and thoughtful boyfriend/life partner bought Wayne Dyer’s memoir, I Can See Clearly Now, which I started reading last night. I’d heard that Dyer had been homeless at some point in his life, which inspired me and gave me hope for my own life. I don’t know if it’s an American thing or a human thing, but many of us like a good underdog story. We like to hear about someone who’d been so down on his luck that he’d been homeless at one point, and was able to not only come out of it but get his PhD and publish dozens of books and inspire thousands or even millions of people.

But what about the rest of us average Joes and Janes who never became homeless but also probably won’t get our PhD’s and most likely will not inspire millions of people through beautifully-written books? Are our lives any less significant or meaningful? I don’t think so. When I think of the people who’ve made an impact on my life, even in small ways—sometimes especially in small ways—I can see that I made changes for the better in my life, causing a ripple effect that has flowed out to others. How many times has a stranger’s encouraging smile or a friend’s kind words brightened my day? Even the sadness and shame I’ve experienced, like the last time I talked to Pedro, taught me a lesson in patience. Pedro, who I didn’t know that well, showed by example how to live a more joyous life. He cheered people up. When customers came into the store, he danced along the aisles, made jokes, and did whatever he could to help people find the products they needed. I’m the kind of person who’d think, No, we don’t sell that, and you’re just going to have to get over it. If you want to go to the non-organic grocery store, or buy it on Amazon, then that’s fine with me. But not Pedro. He would spend time with people, show them he really cared. Their wants mattered. And it’s not just Pedro. I have learned more about patience, tolerance, and compassion from my current co-workers than any other company I’ve worked. I could go on, but I want to focus on something else I’ve noticed so far in Dyer’s memoir.

So far I’m only in the beginning of the book, but Dyer knew as a child that he was different, that he had a gift for inspiring others. Even as a 12-year-old he understood that he chose his feelings, and didn’t allow others to manipulate or guilt-trip him. His father was an alcoholic who left his mother, and she couldn’t afford to take care of him and his brothers, so they grew up in various foster homes until she remarried and got her children back–however, the stepfather was abusive and alcoholic. Yet Dyer remained optimistic. It takes a special kind of person to remain optimistic in the face of such adversity, but he shows that it’s possible.

This should inspire me, but it doesn’t. Instead, I keep wondering: What about those of us who didn’t feel optimistic as children, who didn’t know we had any special gifts, who couldn’t wait to grow up so we could be in control of our lives, only to grow up and learn that we are never in control of our lives, that sometimes shit happens, and it doesn’t always make sense? What about those of us who can’t wait to grow up, thinking, I’m getting the hell out of this town and I’m going to make it big. I’m going to do something with my life. What about those of us who have no clue what lesson in life we’re supposed to learn here on earth, in this lifetime, even if the answers are staring us right in the face, and we think, It can’t be that.

Yesterday, on the drive from Maryland to my mother’s house in North Carolina I got upset about something and started crying, and at that moment, a car turned into my lane, with a bumper sticker that read, “It will be okay.”

It sounded like something Mom would say, that she has said before. How many people have a bumper sticker that reads, “It will be okay”? I read the bumper sticker and stopped crying, and I thought, “Mom?”

feather

About five different white feathers at different times floated into my windshield on my way from my house to Mom’s. Did I ever see so many feathers before? Floating onto my windshield?

Mom’s birthday is Monday, and I drove to North Carolina to spend time with my stepfather and sister for the weekend. My sister cleaned the sheets in Mom’s room for me to stay there, as my sister has many times since Mom passed, and as Mom had done when I visited her. Usually I stayed in the guest room, but sometimes Mom would have me stay in her room while she slept in the guest room. It was weird staying in Mom’s room last night. Waking up in the middle of the night while listening to the sound of the wind blowing the leaves outside… it was eerie.

My sister suggested I look through Mom’s things and take mementos I want to keep, as she has found comfort in looking at Mom’s things since Mom passed two months ago. I wasn’t really prepared for it, and didn’t think I’d want to look through her things. Deciding what to keep feels overwhelming. I want several of her things to remember her by, but don’t want a lot of extra stuff. I live in a small room that’s already overcrowded, and plan to live in always small spaces without too many things. Things are just that, and I don’t want to get too attached to them. At the same time, I want a few meaningful items. But I’m afraid I’ll take things that get broken or lost in my many moves, in the groundless, nomadic lifestyle I live.

I keep waiting for signs, hoping for signs, asking for signs:  Tell me you’re there. Offer some guidance. Am I on the right path? What should I do? Is this really it?

It will be okay.

Wayne Dyer had his path, Pedro had his, my mom had hers, and I have mine. You have yours. They’re all different, but none less significant than the other.

It will be okay.

My other sister had a dream a few weeks after Mom died, and in the dream my sister asked her, “Mom, why did you have to leave?” And Mom just smiled and she said, “It will be okay.”