Today’s Blogtember prompt is: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
Back in 2004, I was working as a teller for one of the banks in my hometown (yes, that same hometown which is now undergoing a terrorists-taking-hostages crisis) and was very miserable about it. So miserable was I that even my teacher Fr. DJ noticed it while we were having dinner with my other classmates and remarked: “Dee, your sadness is filling the room.”
So I decided to make a deal. “God, please give me a sign,” I prayed one night. “If I commit 5 error-corrects at work this week, I will take it as a sign that I should resign from this job and leave this place.”
I had 7 that week. That sealed my decision – I was meant to leave! This was the sign that I had asked from God!
Except that it wasn’t.
In How I Met Your Mother’s episode called “Doppelgangers,” married couple Marshall and Lily made a deal with each other that they’d start making a baby once they had received a sign from the universe – when they finally saw all 5 doppelgangers (lookalikes) of everyone in their gang. At that point, they had already seen 4, and if they finally found Barney’s doppelganger, then that was the universe telling them it was go time and that’s when they’d start trying. It seemed crazy, but Lily thought it was just so much easier to let the universe decide.
And then one day, a few weeks later, Marshall spotted a cabbie who looked just like Barney. He pointed this out to Lily, and they decided to go for it. Later during the day, however, Marshall found out that Barney’s doppelganger was actually Barney himself. So when he and Lily got in bed, he didn’t feel comfortable about it, and he confessed that he couldn’t in good conscience do it. Lily then said that she knew what was bothering him – that the cabbie didn’t look enough like Barney, and described the guy as the complete opposite of what Barney looked like even though it was Barney himself that she had seen. This made Marshall realize that Lily was not yet ready, and he respected for it and apologized for rushing it.
Then four months later, while Lily was on her way to the gang’s favorite bar, she spotted a hot dog vendor who was the spitting image of Barney. She ran inside the bar and when she found real Barney in there and knew that the guy wasn’t him, she pulled them all out to happily show them the fifth doppelganger they had been looking for.
But the thing was, the guy looked nothing like Barney at all. And everyone was about to say so, but Marshall got them to go along with her and pretend that she was right because he realized that she was seeing things, seeing the “sign,” because she was finally ready. Narrator Ted then explains:
You can ask the universe for signs all you want. But ultimately, we only see what we wanna see when we’re ready to see it.
So that “sign” I saw back in 2004, it really was a sign, yes. Only it wasn’t from God. It was from me.
And it led to one of the riskiest yet best decisions of my life, definitely a distinct moment when my life took a turn. And if you wanna know all about that story, you can read all about it here.