Do you ever wonder, what if?
I have a friend with whom I traveled at the beginning of the year. When she was younger, she spent a few summers working in Ibiza where she inevitably met a lot of people, some with whom she got close.
Others were just passers by or friendly faces at which to smile. One boy, Connor, was just a passer by, not someone she really knew.
Seven years later, my friend was sitting by a small pool in Pai, North of Thailand.
The sun was shining down on her back, her feet were dipped in the water, and she was at the start of her new adventure. She tucked her hair behind her ear, took a sip of her ice cold water and glanced over her sunglasses.
There was Connor, on the other side of the pool taking a picture for a group of travelers.
Seven years had passed them by with no contact and no thought. But here they found themselves once again, at the exact same time, in the same small and secluded location, literally on the other side of the world.
Now, I know we should never linger on this thought process for too long because it can be dangerous territory. We should attempt to keep the door closed on the shoulda woulda and couldas because what lurks behind those doors was ultimately never meant for us in the first place.
The thing is, it’s the ‘‘what ifs’’ that are part of who you are now. The ‘‘what ifs’’ are the untraveled roads you opted out of while the universe conspired to direct you to the path on which you were supposed to be.
In these tiny snapshots of choices and decision making, we begin to paint a bigger picture, which we may not even have envisioned ourselves.
What if you had told a lie when you chose to tell the truth? What if you took the easy way out? What if you didn’t choose that major or what if you said no instead of saying yes?
What if you gave in to your tiredness that evening and declined an invitation that led you to meet one of the most important people in your life today? What if you didn’t answer that call? What if you were just a few minutes late, or a few minutes early?
The universe, I believe, leads us to exactly where we are supposed to be if we just listen. The instinct that feels like fire in your belly -- the gut feeling that tells you to do it or not to do it (whatever "it" may be) -- is a feeling we are supposed to trust.
These signs do not come in the form of big red flags, waving rapidly above people or places to warn you off. These signs don’t come with a green light that tells you to go forward with something, or someone. But they come in the form of a feeling and a sense of contentment.
The feeling of instinct is our individual message; sometimes things just feel right.
Some people will put these ‘‘what if’’ moments and the moments that physically transpire in front of you down to coincidence, but I don’t believe in coincidences.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a coincidence is defined by ‘‘chance or luck.’’ I don’t believe in coincidences because I don’t believe that these positive and life-altering moments happen through chance or luck; it’s a lot bigger than that.
They can sometimes leave you utterly bewildered and speechless. You spend a few minutes trying to figure it out, and sometimes, you won’t learn for months or years why they happened, but eventually, the universe provides an answer.
Months later, my friend and Connor are back home and are now in the middle of something so beautiful, all because they listened to these moments and followed these feelings. Coincidence, chance, luck? I don’t think so.
Had my friend been a day later, even an hour, later she would have missed him. Had we chosen another route, she would have missed him. They could have been in any place in the world in that moment, but they were there, again, together. Everything leading up to that moment between them started to make sense.
All of these signs and times that we are given are bigger than we first initially realize. It’s thought-provoking to occasionally reflect on the ‘‘what ifs,’’ but don’t drown in them because you were never intended to stay there.
Follow your instinct; you can trust it.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It