"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
I'll admit it. I never read The Secret. I heard them talking about it on all the talk shows and I politely said "bullshit" into my hand, cleverly disguising it as a cough. If you want things badly enough - really, really want them really, really badly enough - they'll come to you. I'll remove my hand and not even attempt to disguise it as a cough anymore. Bullshit. Can I tell you how many times I've been told, when lamenting my weight issues, "You're just not trying hard enough. If you really want it to happen, it will". BULLSHIT!
Color me jaded if you need to. It's cool. I look good in green.
But recently, the universe conspired.
I have two friends with whom I chatted every day without fail via facebook. I met Sandy once in real life, although we'd been chatting through emails and facebook before that. I met Pam online through Sandy. Sandy had also met her online. It was just one of those things that clicked. It clicked so hard, you may have actually heard it. We are like minded. That's easy to type. It's easy to say. It is much harder to actually find. But we found it, compliments of the wide, wide world of web.
So we chatted.
We shared stories and pictures - we shared big stuff and small stuff. We developed a strong friendship without ever having been in the same room. No - we developed a strong friendship without ever having been on the same continent. Sandy was in Germany, Pam was in Czech Republic, and I was in - Ohio. I think of their lives - and probably with some degree of accuracy - as so much more exciting and sophisticated than mine. They have lived adventures. I have lived - in Ohio.
A few months ago, we had reached the 'I love you, man' point in the relationship and started musing about how lovely it would be to continue our conversations over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. We were all approaching crossroads of sorts and we were doing it together online. How much nicer would it be to do it in person? They thought we could choose someplace equidistant for them and then I could fly over. Vienna and Prague were tossed around as potential locations for a rendezvous. I smiled every time we talked about it. It was a nice dream. They seemed to think it was a serious possibility, but I knew it would never happen. The flight alone (and if you think I didn't look into it, then I'd like some of what you're smoking) would've cost almost as much as my car. Not my car payment. My car. Things are tight here in Ohio and we live very modestly. When I pictured myself with my friends on a patio sipping wine in Vienna, I somehow always ended up looking a little like Don Quixote fighting off the windmills.
But then, the universe conspired.
Sandy made a spur of the moment decision to return to the states to visit her parents. Pam just as suddenly made the decision to return to the states to stay with her mother for a while.
Now we were all in the same time zone.
I drove to New Jersey with my husband, where I met up with Sandy. She and I took a bus to New York where we met up with Pam. A couple days before this was scheduled to happen, Pam sent a recent picture of herself, afraid we might not recognize her. She needn't have worried. Our hearts called out to each other. We saw her from about a block away and we ran into each others arms and dissolved in the sort of group hug you used to sometimes see at airports, but now only see in movies. We kept touching each others faces and arms as we walked - I think perhaps to assure ourselves that this was really, really real.
We ate, and we talked and we laughed and we shared that wine.
And we will do it again.
Because surely the universe will see the necessity of that.
I'm still not buying into The Secret. But sometimes the universe comes through.