Last weekend, my boyfriend and I went to a dinosaur theme park.
It was incredible – there were tons of life-size electronically animated dinos dotted around Osterley Park in south-west London - Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Velociraptors – you name it.
Ever since I was little, I’ve been completely mesmerized by these creatures.
In fact, I still vividly recall the time our parents took my sister and I to see Jurassic Park at the cinema when I was just seven years old.
Though it was utterly TERRIFYING, it’s still my favourite film to this day (the book’s equally brilliant, btw – I highly recommend checking it out).
Dinosaurs are actually the reason my boyfriend and I are together, believe it or not.
Back when I was writing the first draft of Addictive Daughter’s book ‘The Inner Fix’, I’d shared about my love of dinos, and how I used them as a sort of ‘sign’ – a symbol of guidance that I was heading in the right direction:
“Gabrielle Bernstein, an American self-help guru, talks a lot about the idea of ‘signs’ as a form of ‘divine guidance’ whenever you need support or clarity over a particular issue.
For quite a while now, I’ve had a weird obsession with dinosaurs (Jurassic Park is my favourite film of all time). Joey has the same thing with birdcages – she’s loved them since she was a little girl.
Dinosaurs and birdcages have shown up everywhere for Joey and I since starting Addictive Daughter - on stages we’ve spoken on, on cards or in books that friends have bought us, on street art we walk past, and in so many other unexpected ways.
Although most people I try and explain the whole ‘sign’ philosophy too thinks it’s absolute rubbish – that you only see your ‘sign’ because you’re looking out for it, I think that’s kind of the whole point: you’re paying attention; aware trumps unaware, in my opinion. I’d rather look out for evidence that I’m being supported, than evidence that I’m not.”
Little did I know then that a mere week after writing those words, dinosaurs would guide me towards the man I’m now living with...
I was at a festival called ‘Wilderness’ in Oxfordshire when I met him, back in August 2015.
Our eyes locked in a secret rave in a wooded valley, as bejewelled acrobatic mermaids did somersaults above our heads, and gurning, glitter-speckled revellers hopped up and down to the music beside us in all manner of wacky, lycra-based costumes.
Without a word being spoken between us, we fell (literally) in to a passionate kiss.
Now, truth be told, whilst it was certainly a good first kiss, at that point I didn’t really think it would ever evolve into anything more than just a bit of a drunken smooch on the first night of a festival.
However, fate - it turned out - had other plans.
The next evening, we happened to randomly bump into each other again, which then turned into, without a doubt, the most romantic (and fun) night of my entire life.
We ran around the festival like naughty schoolchildren, allowing ourselves to be naturally and organically carried from one dance tent and experience to the next.
Several hours into hanging out, we found ourselves sat by a campfire with all manner of weird and wonderful characters.
When he saw the dinosaur necklace I was wearing (given to me by my friend + business partner Joey – also the name of my festival paramour, bizarrely), he went on to tell me how Jurassic Park was his favourite film of all time, and that he’d written his dissertation at music college on the theme tune.
“Uh, that’s the music I’m going to have playing as I walk down the aisle at my wedding…” I told him (rather brazenly).
He smiled sheepishly, before continuing to gush about Sam Neill and Richard Attenborough’s brilliant performances in the movie.
On the last night of the festival, Joey Wilderness (the name he’d put into my phone) and I were wandering past one of the stages, which happened to have a full orchestra playing scores from famous films on it.
After about ten minutes or so, we hear the familiar opening notes of…The Jurassic Park theme tune, as pictures and scenes from the film are projected on to a huge screen behind the orchestra.
YOU COULDN’T BLOODY WRITE IT, COULD YA.
We look at each other in complete shock, and though we know it’s too early to say it out loud, we know there’s something significant in this – and we’re not wrong.
The next day, as we’re packing up to leave the festival, Joey Wilderness asks if I’d like to come back to his cousins’ house for some food and a shower, as it’s only 20 minutes drive from the festival.
When we arrive, his cousin asks if we’d like to stay for the afternoon… to watch Jurassic World.
Obviously, we say yes.
For the following two weeks, we spend a lot of time hanging out (he’ll bejetting off to Bali for a few months at the end of that time, and we want to have as much fun as possible getting to know each other before he goes).
A week to the day after our first kiss at the festival, Joey Wilderness and I go out to dinner, and as we get in the lift to leave the restaurant, who should get in the lift with us but… SAM NEILL – the lead actor from Jurassic Park.
Again, Joey Wilderness and I look at each other in shock.
The day he returns from Bali, he tells me he’s fallen in love with me and asks me to be his girlfriend – to which I of course respond “yes.”
I can’t even begin to tell you how many other dino-related coincidences have occurred in the 20 months since then, but suffice to say, it’s a lot.
There’s also been a lot of growth, love and laughter in that time, and for the first time in my life, I absolutely know that I’m with the right one for me.
Now, I’m aware this whole ‘sign’ malarkey might sound a bit ‘woo-woo’ to you right now; I get it – because it is.
However, if – as you’ve been reading this – your mind has been led to thinking about a ‘sign’ or ‘thing’ that pops up in your life again andagain, I encourage you to open your mind to the possibility that perhaps -just perhaps - you’re being led and guided by something out there that wants only good things for you.
What would your life be like if you chose to believe that – nuts as it may sound?
At the end of the day, even if it all turns out to be a load of bollocks, I’ll tell you one thing for sure:
It makes life a hell of a lot more fun and interesting when you do.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Do you believe in ‘signs’? Why, or why not?
And, if you do think there’s something in this concept, what’s your sign? I’d love you to share it with me below – I’d put money on the fact that if you take that little action step, your sign will start showing up for you all over the shop…
(Who knows, it might even lead you towards love – that, or a shit ton of cash <3)