There have been several times in my life where coincidences have struck me as significant, times where the feeling of deja vu has felt particularly strong, and instances where something occurring in life reminds me strongly of something I dreamed about. Nevertheless, I’m the sort of person who stays grounded in the present, grounded in the here and now, taking moments as they are (or that’s what I strive to do). I get frustrated by people who live too fancifully with their minds apparently in the clouds.
I’ve had moments where I think there’s some message and I realize that I’m overthinking. Take, for instance, a rainy night awhile back. As I was driving along the back road home, a passing memory of my ex-boyfriend came into my mind; I remembered a similar rainy night when I’d been driving along the same road with him in the passenger seat. When I parked, I looked at the passenger foot well in my car, and saw a small black umbrella on the floor. It wasn’t my umbrella, and I was puzzled as to where it could have come from. I picked it up, and looking at the hooked handle, I realized: this was his umbrella. The way this handle hooked was distinctive, looking almost like a sword handle. But how did it appear now? He hadn’t been in my car for several months at that point. He must have dropped it out of his backpack the last time he was in my car, it must have rolled under the seat, and it must have rolled back out at this particular moment, as I’d been thinking of him.
This had to mean something. I left it in my car, hopeful that this was some sort of sign. And that’s when I remembered: I’d driven a colleague to lunch that day, it had been raining in the afternoon, she’d had an umbrella. Which she left in my car. I’d completely forgotten about something that had happened only hours before, because my mind wanted the coincidence instead.
Despite that lesson, though, moments still occur that make me wonder if there could possibly be something more, something beyond coincidence.
I recently began a new writing project, an essay that I want to work on with the goal of eventually trying to publish it. As part of this endeavor, I’ve had to do a lot of “mining” of the past: reading old journal entries, reflecting on past events, to try to find the center of what I want to write, to find the thesis. It’s meant a lot of solitary revisiting of memories, which inevitably leads to some thinking of “What if just one thing had been different…” It’s been productive thinking, though, and I feel that I may have cracked the nut to the core of the experience.
A day after what I hoped was my small writing breakthrough, I received a card in the mail, an advertisement from the company I bought my computer from. I was about to throw the card into my recycle bag when I happened to turn it over. On the front of the card was this:
A marketing gimmick, yes; something to catch a customer’s eye. But I’ll admit, there was still that small part of me that wondered. Is there a good thing I have now that I should be sure to hold onto? Is there a good thing that I already let go of?
I put the card aside and settled onto my sofa with some cookies, switching on the TV. I landed on AMC and what movie was playing?