Before kids, I had a career in graphic design. Visual order and symmetry are my must-haves, my color palette is earthen colors seen in rocks, water and sky. I love the Arts & Crafts era and Frank Lloyd Wright. My first real memories are of drawing. My Grandpap taught me how to draw a star by connecting five dots in a certain pattern before I could read. I remember thinking how cool I was when could draw both the dots AND the lines.
When I was about eight, I would sign out books from the school library all about birds or horses and bring them home. The books were always over-sized and hard-covered, and they smelled like school and sour milk. Bird books were my favorite, I loved drawing “realism” and anything from nature. I would sit at our dining room table, and draw from these books for hours. At this time, I also noticed other illustrative stylings in Holly Hobby, Cricket magazine and Highlights – hey, it was the late-70s early-80s, this stuff was popular back then! They inspired me with their use of color and different drawing techniques. I would use pencil on any kind of paper, but I liked the water color paper the best because the pencil lead made a particular scratchy sound I liked as lines and shading flowed through my hand onto my page.
My eyes have been trained through my art and design education to notice details, things come to my attention. Finding patterns, noticing when things go together, or when they most certainly do not, is now a reflex. Numbers are also a part of my visual perception. It could be a certain number of a certain something, like five perfect petals on a flower, or actual numbers that keep popping into my view. The same numbers when I look at a clock, a license plate, or an address.
And so, not once, but three times today, a new number had popped into my view and caught my eye. This morning while hauling myself out of bed, my digital clock read 5:55 a.m., this grabbed my attention because of how the digital “5s” lined up with one another, like they were all spooning, fitted together in an “S waves” dance position. The black negative space in between the lime green numbers seemed to come forward. Cool, I got on with my day.
I had an exceptional afternoon. It was a tough decision choosing between a bike ride or gym time, plus I had to pick up a package at the post office. So, I decided to combine it all and ride my bike around my little town, stopping at the post office first, then I would ride over to my gym to have a workout. In my almost six years of living here, I had never done this before, and it was great to be a “bike commuter” for what was about a 10 mile or so route to the gym. I rediscovered an old backpack in my hall closet to pack with gym items, a change of clothing, running shoes, and my wallet, so I was all set. I should note that I did not wear my cleats for this adventure, nor did I use Strava to record it. I opted to wear my other new biking shoes which are awesome hiking-type tie-shoes – the blue pretty ones. I chose to “go native,” not wanting to worry about falling over, my speed, or thinking about my exact location.
Once at the gym and bike locked up outside, it was locker room time. After making the transformation from cyclist to gym rat, I locked up my belongings and it was at that moment I saw the number of my locker: 55. I associated that with Jon because he would have just turned 55 this June. I got to my workout which was a combination of free weights and machines, my favorite being the leg press right now only because I’ve gone up in weight a bit, and I’m proud of that. I finished with a two mile run on the indoor track. Each lap around, I glance at the time on the digital clock that sticks out like a brick-shaped brass ring from the side wall nearest to the door. This is where I start and where I count each lap. On one of my early laps, I see the lime-green angular numbers read 5:55, and I also am starting my fifth lap. So many “fives” today!
Later after dinner, I decide to look up the meaning of the number 5. This is what I found on a web site that I have gone to before in my curiosity when numbers keep showing up like this:
“The 5555 number sequence is a message from the Universe that your life is about to go through some major changes, with new freedoms and living your inner-truths.”*
There was a lot of other information, but when I read the above, it brought me to tears because this is the journey I am now on. I am seeking my new life’s purpose, wanting to be the person I am now, my chrysalis is splitting open and I am emerging, becoming, a version of myself I never imagined. I especially desire living in passion, new growth, and making positive choices. In this process, I am trying desperately not to fuck it all up. Finding myself surrounded by all that has happened – death, grief, change, rediscovery – has challenged me to look at life in a whole new light. I am embraced by new opportunities and people that I otherwise would not be experiencing or have met if it weren’t for all this fucking tragedy. Yes, Universe speak to me, I am listening, and most of all, I think I am finally beginning to understand. ~Paula