I have always believed in fate. That things happen for a reason. Not that everything is pre-ordained, but that we are all connected somehow, especially those close to us, and these connections go over distance, but also time. Something happened to me the other day, which reinforced the level of magic that exists in the world, and when we open ourselves to it, it lays the world at our feet. We just have to listen.
My first job after college was retail. The store was owned by a relative, and this small gesture of family was what made it possible for me to move to the City and begin my professional life. At the time I got here, I was living with a GF at her parent’s house and experiencing a kind of sexual awakening. She was the first one to leash me, and her parent’s were the ones to introduce me to the joys of Jungian psychotherapy. [I wrote about those experiences here. Psychotherapy, Therapy and D/s and the joys of being leashed].
The manager of the store was a special woman. Sometimes people you meet provide encouragement to you in ways that really help you reach for and develop things inside of you that you might not even see in yourself. She was one such person, and she encouraged my gender expression at a time that I didn’t really know to do that, instead only experiencing dysphoria as angst. She was the first person to call me pretty, or cute, and to make me want to hear that in relation to my dysphoric self.
She was also around during the rather spectacular train wreck of that relationship with my GF, which mercifully occurred after I moved out of her parent’s house but played out in blazing lights. She got to know my GF too, and it was nice to have someone on my side picking up the pieces each day after my heart got dragged over the cobbled streets of downtown every night.
My friendship with the store manager stayed live for a few years after this summer, and we were in touch after she started her own business, had her own store. We went to the opera together—which was a passion of hers. But along the way, no longer living in the City, no longer going there, and with all the changes of life, we just lost touch. Completely.
Fast forward 30 years. I needed to buy a suitcase for some things I had picked up on my visit, so I found the nearest shop on my phone that sold suitcases. I had this really uncanny feeling as I walked there, and kept getting lost even though the grid pattern of the streets is the easiest to follow in the world. I had this overwhelming sense that I was mean to see something, meant to do something. I was looking in the shop windows, looking at objects, thinking that maybe there was something I was meant to buy. It was a very palbable feeling, like a thread was pulling me along.
I came to a particular retailer, one of the discount fashion chains, which is one of my absolute favourite places to buy women’s clothes—you find some amazing things and the prices are reasonable. And, well, on this day, I found a lot of nice things, very cute skirts, tops, etc. But there was something going wrong at the shop with their cash registers, and they announced over the tannoy that all purchases had to be cash purchases as their systems were down. I was hoping that by the time I finished shopping, this would be resolved. But it was not the case.
I asked one of the staff on the floor if I could leave my stuff behind the till and go and come back later, or go and get cash. She said she would find out, and then came back a few minutes later and said I could. “Who do I need to speak to?” I asked, and she led me to the registers and the person who could help.
This is a very busy store. Perhaps 20 people at the tills, hundreds of customers. I went to the one on the end. I put my lovely outfits up on the counter, and asked about whether there was a nearby ATM. And as the lady spoke to me, and we talked about this, about the situation with the tills, what the amount was likely to be, etc, I had this feeling of recognising her voice. And then it started to come to me, gently.
“Are you from X country?” I asked.
“Yes, but I don’t have an accent, how do you know?”
“Because I can feel it,” I said, fully at play.
“No, seriously,” she said. “You can’t hear it in my voice.”
“No, I can’t,” I agreed. “Is your first name Y?”
“Yes, how do you know?”
“Is your name Y and Z?”
“Yes, it is. But how do you know this?”
“I used to work for you.” And I placed the family relationship before her. And she said my name, it coming back to her all of a sudden.
“I love your name,” she said, “I’ve always loved your name.” And for the next half an hour we caught up on life, my wife, my kids, my life, her husband, her life, its trials and tribulations.
“I had this really weird feeling that I was being drawn here,” I said, “that I was meant to be doing something. I came out to buy a suitcase, and I ended up here.”
“Yes, the energy drew you here.”
“It’s such a bizarre coincidence, what are the chances?”
“I wasn’t even supposed to be working today. I just decided to come in.”
I went to the ATM, got cash, and then came back. We talked some more. We talked about the things I was buying.
“You have good taste,” she said, “I like this blouse.”
“Yes, its beautiful isn’t it. It’s going to look great on me. The skirt is my favourite.”
“It’s cute,” she said.
As I left the store with my purchases and her phone number I was bowled over by life and the power of magic. Here was a person who had been in my life at a critical point of transition for me, and who suddenly reappears at another. A spiritual person, one who has a gentle soul, non-judging. There were other reasons that it might have been meant to be that I found her, as my connection to her was not the only relevant thread, but there can be no other conclusion when life plucks out a needle in a haystack that we are not even looking for. It was meant to happen.