Last summer, Adam and I started looking for a new flat.
The year before I had agreed to move into the flat he shared with his friends. A decision I soon regretted. The flat was in a rough area with poor transport links and no shops around. At night, the streets were dark and deserted – I didn’t feel safe walking around after sunset. His friends were… let’s say messy would be an understatement. When I found a bowl of leftover rice covered in mould in the fridge, I knew it was time to leave.
By this point, I had moved 5 times in two years. For Adam, it’d be the 4th. We both wanted a place where we could stay for at least a year. Preferably more. So, I asked the universe for a sign. “Send me an owl,” I asked. “If I see an owl, I’ll know that’s the right place.” (In case you’re wondering, owl is my fave animal. Plus, there was a little stone owl in the back garden of the house where Adam and I met. It seemed fitting.)
A Sign From The Universe?
The first week of house hunting, I didn’t see any owls. I had booked viewings for all the flats in our budget range I had seen on Rightmove, Gumtree and every other place that had flat ads. I even called a few agencies to see what they had. We saw quite a few places but no owls. Frankly, I was relieved. Those flats were horrible. Underground. Mouldy. I knew the universe didn’t want me to live there (thanks, Universe!).
The second week, we had a viewing for a studio flat 5 minutes from Adam’s work place. At first, I didn’t think much of the place. I had to climb two high flights of stairs to get there. Not ideal when you’re carrying a lot of grocery bags. The studio itself was a small living room with a fridge and a small cooker. It had the tiniest toilet I had ever seen. The bed was an extendible sofa on one side of the living room. My heart sunk.
“Look over there,” Adam said. There it was. A small ornamental owl. When I saw it, I went crazy. The minute before, I had ruled out that flat. Now I was determined to get it. Adam wasn’t having none of it. That flat was too small for one person, let alone two. And I wanted it because of a stupid owl?! After a little bickering, I surrendered. I knew deep down he was right. It was too small for us.
I was almost crying on the way home. I couldn’t understand it. Why had the Universe sent me the sign if I wasn’t supposed to take the place? It made no sense. Unless, was it really the Universe sending me that sign? Owls are everywhere at the moment. On tablecloths. Dresses. Jewellery. The fact that little owl was there was probably just a coincidence.
A coincidence I was ready to base a very important decision on.
You ask for a sign to find clarity. What you find is confusion.
Why You Should’t Look For Signs
When you’re actively looking for a sign on whether you should move to a different city, accept that new job offer or dump your boyfriend, everything becomes a sign. Been watching a movie where the protagonist dumps her partner? It’s a sign! Met someone who just returned from a holiday in Denmark? That’s where you should move! Saw a dog sitting outside a clothes shop? It’s a sign you need to accept that fashion designer job!
Even when like me, you’re asking for a specific sign, how are you supposed to know if it’s a sign from the Universe or just a coincidence? Unless your sign is something so uncommon like a meteorite falling from the sky, chances are you’re gonna come across it sooner or later. And when you do, it may well take you in the wrong direction.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to say the Universe never sends you a sign. In fact, the Universe is speaking to you ALL the time. It’s just when you’re so focused on finding the perfect sign for your problem that you set yourself up for failure. Suddenly, everything is a potential sign. You stop thinking clearly. You see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear, find what you want to find. You interpret the sign as you subconsciously wish. Or make a decision you know deep down in your gut is wrong just because you’ve seen a stupid owl.
Instead, be open. The Universe is sending you guidance all the time. You just have to let go of your need to control the signs and live in the moment. Be focused on your body. Listen to your inner intuition. Your intuition lives in your body. Tune in and feel it. Most of all, don’t force it. That sign will come when you least expect it, in a total casual manner. You’ll know when you’ll get it. It’ll spark something in your body. A feeling of rightness. A sense of truth.
When I first walked into that flat with Adam, my intuition was screaming no. But the owl was there so I let my fixation with signs overtake my intuition. Thank goodness Adam was there to knock some sense into me. A couple of weeks later, we found the perfect place. It’s in a quiet area with great transport links, full of parks and restaurants and close to Adam’s workplace. We fell in love with it the moment we saw it and decided to take it straight away. Owls be damned!
A few days after we moved in, Adam and I were walking down the street. “Look up,” he said. Perched on the top of an old building was a stone owl.