Coincidentally Speaking

I have recently started to use writing prompts from author Licia Morelli to help me expand my thought processes as a writer. These writing prompts usually consist of a theme to focus on with either a 5 or 10-minute time limit. For me, the time limit really helps open up my creativity. This may seem contraindicative to some people, but I love how work flows in these prompts.

One of the prompts Licia sent out last week was to write about synchronicity and when and how it has affected your life. Since I live my life constantly amazed at how things fall into place, this was a very intriguing challenge for me. In fact, the very challenge was a huge argument for how synchronicity works.

On the day before I received this challenge I had lunch and dinner plans with two different friends. Due to scheduling and weather, both my lunch and dinner plans were cancelled. Fortunately, last minute changes like these rarely bother me, so I rolled with the punches and decided I was going to take myself out to dinner.

As I pondered where to go, I developed an intense craving for the steak special at a local bar and grill. Since the special happened to fall on the day all of this happened, I decided to go indulge my craving. The only down-side to this decision was the distance; this restaurant was 65 blocks from where I work.

Driving in the cold, dark night, I kept telling myself I should stop somewhere closer to home; or maybe even somewhere on my way home. That would have been logical. As I pondered various restaurants that would have been more convenient, I felt a strong compulsion to follow my original decision and make the long drive to get that steak special.

When I arrived at the restaurant, I found a parking space right away. That might not seem like a big deal to most people, but that particular parking lot serves multiple popular restaurants and it is notoriously difficult to find a space. I walked in the restaurant and at the bar where I like to sit there were multiple seats available. This too is pretty unusual on steak night, so I gave a quick “Thanks,” to the Universe. I walked to a barstool that appeared to be off by itself, thinking that not having anyone sitting by me would give me space to veg out on my phone and not interact with anyone.

Instead, as I reached my seat, I realized that there was a covered drink at the bar in front of the seat next to me. I don’t know about where you live, but in the mid-West, a covered drink is a comical attempt to protect your drink from anything being slipped in it. It is also a way of letting the server know you’re not done with your drink and will be right back. Even though I thought I was craving solitude, I decided “what the Hell,” and stayed where I was.

Soon, a young man, reeking of cigarette smoke, came back to the seat next to me. Contrary to the bar etiquette I am used to, (where you politely eavesdrop on the other person’s conversation for a while before you initiate conversation,) this young man immediately turned to me, held out his hand and introduced himself.

Our conversation, which started with the normal getting to know you chit-chat, quickly segued to child-rearing and relationship beliefs. The young man made the observation that in living with his girlfriend, who had a lot of different interests, they had consciously made an effort to find something that they could do together. Even though he’d never been artistic in his life, he accepted her challenge to try painting, since that was something she enjoyed. He then promptly fell in love with painting.

His eyes lit up as he talked to me about his painting. He proudly showed me a picture of his latest piece; it was good, really good. It was a painting of a bear wearing an incredible pair of red glasses that complemented his green and brown fur beautifully. This young man’s innate knowledge of complementary colors was pretty impressive. Later in the conversation, he showed me his first painting, a woman with a red umbrella wearing a yellow polk-a-dot dress. His proportion was good and the curves that formed her calves were a delight. You could feel the lightness of the female figure as she danced away from the artist.

His work was strong, but even more incredible to me was his almost incredulous pride in what he’d done. I truly felt he was as amazed as anyone at his own paintings. That amazement rang a familiar bell for me; I understand the feeling of awe you can have when you paint something that far exceeds what you thought you were capable of.

We talked through my entire meal. After I finished my steak and paid my bill, it was time to say good-bye to my neighbor on the next stool. He reached out, shook my hand and said he thought we met for a reason that night. I smiled as I told him about how far I’d driven out of my way to get there and how compelled I was to be in that place at that time. I truly believe that meeting happened for a reason. We may or may not ever see each other again, but I know I was sent there to give him encouragement and support.

Do I believe in synchronicity? Do I believe we are drawn to do things for a reason? Do I believe we should follow those hunches when they lure us out of our comfort zone? Yes, yes, and yes. Some of my most delightful conversations and most interesting relationships have been the direct result of throwing logic out the window and listening to my intuition.

Whenever you get the chance to follow the whimsical song of your inner voice, do it. You may or may not meet someone important in your life, but if you always do what makes sense you may miss out on something wonderful.

What are your thoughts?