This week I learned the etymology of a word I’ve used for years: the word, ‘weird’.
Weird. That thing that you definitely don’t want to be labeled in junior high school. Or really, anytime in your life when you don’t want to stand out from the crowd.
Weird. An apt word for today, Halloween; a day where we do lots of things that aren’t considered ‘normal’ the rest of the year. Most days of the year we don’t celebrate the dead, wander around in costumes or accept candy from strangers. I have to say, Halloween is a bit of a weird concept, (even though it is one of my favourite holidays).
Weird is the best reply I could give a friend of mine this week when he asked, “How’s things?” Upon hearing that my life was weird, he asked if I knew the original meaning of the word ‘weird’ was ‘destiny’.
I did not know this and quickly looked it up. He was right.
The main definition when I consulted the dictionary is: ‘Suggesting something supernatural, unearthly. Very strange.’ And then underneath that an archaic definition: ‘a person’s destiny’.
Learning this has made me think a lot about destiny over the past few days. Is it my destiny to go to Peru for this new job? What are all the steps that have led to this point in my life? Have they all been part of my destiny? Why does everything that’s happened this past month feel right, and yet, so weird? Is that because I finally feel in step with my destiny? Have I had any real part to play in this or is something more supernatural at play here? What part of life are we really in control of? All, part or none??? When I surrender and allow things to unfold, magic happens. But I can’t just sit around and do nothing with my life. I make choices based on the best available information at any one time and then act. And often, it is only in hindsight that I see that I’ve truly been on my destined path all along, even when maybe at the time it didn’t feel like it.
That led me to wonder about the part Blogtober has played in this whole thing. Has participating in Blogtober been part of my destiny? On the 1st of October I had no idea I had a month ahead of me full of experiences to write about. I set out thinking I might recycle a couple of past posts or write about places I visited on my recent travels or dig out some of my old half-started posts that sit on my computer, waiting for me to find the right day to finish them off. But none of that happened. Too much other stuff kept me busy – writing, listening and processing events as they’ve happened over the month.
Blogtober has focused my desire to write. It’s shown me that almost every day I can find an hour or two to dedicate to my writing craft and the more I write, the more focused I get. I plan to channel the hour I have spent blog writing each day into writing creatively on my book project. The book project has been in the works for a while and feels very much like it’s tied to my destiny.
Last week, the blog was the catalyst for an old friend to get in touch with me after 25 years. He’s looking for either a muse or a ghostwriter to help him write his memoir. Years ago we worked together quite successfully on a number of projects. After speaking with him on the phone the other day, it’s clear that the Universe has brought us back into each other’s lives at this moment for a reason. I don’t believe in coincidence. So is this destiny??? Whatever it is, it feels a bit weird.
When he asked if I’d be his muse, I had to laugh. I immediately thought of my friend Kristina’s blog, The Curious Muse. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have taken part in Blogtober, I wouldn’t have written all the posts I have and my old friend wouldn’t have necessarily found me. Then I realised I’m not quite sure what the job description of a muse is these days. I had a vision of an artist’s muse of long ago, a woman who ate peeled grapes and sat in provocative positions while laying on a sofa. I’m not sure if that’s an accurate portrayal of a muse in years gone by, but I’m pretty sure this is not the modern job description. When my friend explained it involves long discussions, reading his chapter drafts, editing and encouraging him to write more, I realised I too need a muse. In the end, we’ve discussed being muses, or writing buddies, for each other. Which makes me happy.
If this Blogtober business has done nothing else, it’s helped me reconnect with an old friend, discover my deep passion for writing and set me off on another path.
All of it has happened in a weird way. I couldn’t have planned or orchestrated any of it. Maybe it really is just my destiny. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.