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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Wowk


K(no)w. A piece inspired while worlds collided.

“I don’t have any answers, but I’m not looking for any. I just… have more questions,” Liz said, pausing briefly to pull from her pint. 5 and a half months since the start of her journey across Southeast Asia, we’re sitting across from one another at a cozy back table in a restaurant in San Francisco. A happy alignment of our travels had brought her back to California for a temporary reprieve, while I was wrapping up 12 days on the West Coast following a bit of work and play. She talked of her travels: the cities she loved, the country-sides she escaped to, starry skies of unfathomable beauty, and sunrises worthy of forfeited sleep.

And she asked of mine.

At that point, it hadn’t been too long since I’d returned from my two week holiday in Scotland and the Faroe Islands. Like Liz, I too had left with, packed amongst the piles of laundry and souvenirs, an overwhelming feeling of lingering questions, and no real clear answers. The problem was that the one souvenir I’d hoped to find alluded me. I had expected clarity upon returning to Edinburgh – and was concertedly disappointed when I left empty-handed. Perhaps I had expected too much? Perhaps I had lost my touch.

Liz asked if I was still seeking opportunities to return to Europe on a more permanent basis. I replied that I was taking a hiatus from any active pursuit.

“No,” she replied. Simply, unapologetically – no.

And here she had me thinking that she didn’t have any answers.


Two months later, her solitary message still grips me with its weight, its brevity, and its candor; its expansive power in a single word. Why had I put off pursuing what is still very much a dream? I didn’t have a good enough excuse, and I suspect Liz already knew this.

So I didn’t find the answers I’d asked for in Edinburgh, and the disappointment had left me downtrodden. But here was my reminder to be relentless in the pursuit of asking for what I still wanted. What had life shown me over and over? An immediate no often meant a greater yes was looming around the corner.

This isn’t the first time such an impactful message has been delivered to me in such a way; via a person who is seemingly the mouth piece for a more universal voice.

Has that ever happened to you? An answer you’re waiting for arrives via a stranger? Or perhaps in a dream? Has an old friend ever dropped in and delivered news that you didn’t know you needed? Moments like this tickle our senses and make us wonder, “how did they know?” Curious, isn’t it?

Maybe we hear this message and this voice clearer than others because it’s reflecting the one we have already heard inside, but have neglected to listen to. And when those two messages meet, the one on the inside and the one on the out, we feel something.

I’ve learned that it’s critical to tune in to these seemingly coincidental messages, because they’re not just a coincidence. This is synchronicity; a sign that the universe wants us to pay attention. These signs serve as a way to affirm that we're on the right path. To experience them, we only need to be open to receiving their guidance.

Sometimes, these messages arrive in the short span of a moment; too brief to comprehend at first. But in hindsight, we recognize the importance of why he or she, albeit temporarily, brushed past our lives.

As for Liz, she’s off exploring again. Gleaning more questions as she gallivants across Asia in pursuit of new adventures. {I encourage you to follow her blog here!}

As for me, I’ll keep writing; it’s my own creative way to keep asking for what I want. And, as you might have guessed, it’s what the universe constantly guides me to do.

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