Were They Premonitions or Manifestations?

Photo by author (Joyce O’Day) of her backyard.

Many of my childhood and adult thoughts and visions became my reality

Throughout my life, random thoughts I briefly contemplated came to pass as real-life situations. In some cases, they were what I actively wished for; in other cases, they were merely situations I pondered, but did not strive to become my reality. Were these thoughts genuine premonitions or did I actively manifest my later reality?

Childhood Fantasy: I imagined being part of a “Brady Bunch” family at a time when I had one brother who was 14 years my senior and was suffering from Muscular Dystrophy.

Adult Reality: I divorced after having two children and later married a man with three children from two previous wives, and we had one child together. My childhood “Brady Bunch” dream family became my adult reality. This family arrangement was not a goal I set for myself as an adult, but it was what I had dreamed of as a child.

Childhood Thought: I occasionally imagined living in an apartment. I grew up in a 2,600 square-foot house, which was considered large in the 1960s, but on occasion I contemplated what my life would be like if we lived in an apartment. I was not trying to manifest apartment life; but at the time, I thought my family of three (after my brother died) would be closer if we were in tighter living quarters. I also thought it would be cool to have friends in closer proximity as we would living in an apartment rather than in our suburban neighborhood. These apartment-living thoughts were not something I lusted after, it was just an idea I entertained on various occasions.

Adult Reality: To my genuine disappointment, my apartment-living thoughts became my reality. My parents’ financial situation deteriorated over the years. When I was 14, they downsized to a smaller house, then to a rented house, then to an apartment by the time I turned 18. Aside from a rental house I lived in for a couple of years in my early twenties, from my late teens to age 40, I lived in five different apartments until I could finally afford to buy the house we have lived in for over 20 years.

Adult Vision: I imagined living in a house that had a raised area in the back yard. This came as a brief vision, it was not something I sought to manifest. 

Adult Reality: The house I eventually bought has a four-foot high raised bank stretching across the length of the entire backyard.

Adult Vision: During a period of depression, I just wanted to spend my time alone in a room surrounded by my books.

Adult Reality: During COVID, I turned a poorly used room into a reading room and lounge. The spare bedroom that once belonged to my daughter, and later became a guest room, was being used for storage after I retired from teaching. At one point, when I was expecting a houseguest, I was forced to clean out and organize the room. It became an amazing place to chill, read, and hang out.

Childhood Goal: My dream job from junior high off and on through my early-twenties was becoming a nurse.

Adult Reality: I was accepted into the nursing program at the University of Nevada—Las Vegas, but turned it down to major in History. After my Political Science 101 class, I became obsessed with current events and the history of how the current global political situation came to be. Before I graduated college with my B.A. in History, I got a job as a medical assistant for a pediatrician. I found the position on a job board at the university. They normally only hired pre-med students, but since the pediatrician was my children’s doctor and I had previous experience as a pharmacy technician, I got the job and lived my dream of being a nurse; I did front and back office duties, gave injections, and assisted in minor surgical procedures. After two years, I was over it and quit. My desire to work in the medical profession was out of my system.

Adult Goals: Three times in my life, I encountered work positions that I immediately desired, but was unqualified for at the time. 

Adult Reality: Years later, when I was qualified, I got two of my three dream jobs: “Graduate Teaching Assistant” while I pursued my M.A. in History and “Social Studies Project Facilitator” where I led my school district’s Social Studies teachers in professional development and facilitated programs for student enrichment. The job I desired but did not get was in the Equity and Diversity Department for our school district. Although I was qualified and deserving, I had offended the powers that be by vocally disagreeing with my superiors while in my previous position as Social Studies Project Facilitator. Randomly, I made the most effort trying to get the job that was denied to me, which included getting a second master’s degree. The other two positions I merely applied for and was accepted.

Childhood Contemplation: When I was about ten, in a very introspective state, I asked myself if I wanted to be wealthy when I was young or when I was old. I chose old. It seemed like it would be better to financially struggle when I was young rather than be miserable and financially insecure in my older years.

Adult Reality: I suffered financially until age 40 when I became a teacher. Clearly, as a educator, I was never rich, but I finally made a stable life for my family. At present, my combined retirement income with my husband’s pays our bills and leaves a bit for travel and recreation. We are far from rich, but with our home and cars paid off, we are comfortable. I don’t want or need more things in my life. I value experiences: travel, entertainment (live music and theater), nice meals (fine dining and home-cooked meals with family and friends), and time with my grandkids. 

Thoughts on manifestation 

I believe that thoughts have energy. Ruminating on negative thoughts—as one does in a depressive state—brings on more negative thoughts until you find yourself in a deep cave that is hard to crawl out of. For me, I could occasionally see a ray of light from above, and I carefully found the finger- and toe-holds needed to pull myself back into the light and out of the cave. I had to nurture every good thought in order to manifest the strength needed for my departure from darkness to daylight.

Aside from escaping depression, I have never actively attempted to manifest anything in my life. I made my first and only “vision board” in January 2021, and it mostly included travel goals that were impossible given the restrictions of COVID. 

Throughout my life, I have made goals and worked hard to implement them by doing the work—like going to college. I have never counted on luck, and have only won a few prizes in my life: a TV/VCR in a raffle, free tickets to an elite ($200 per person) foodie event from an NPR drawing, and $25 on a quarter slot machine when I was 14.

My Final Adult Vision: I envision that when I die, I will be looking out the French doors in my bedroom at my beautiful backyard garden. I imagine that it could be a cancer death or heart failure. Either way, passing on in the comfort of my personal space is not a bad way to go.

Adult Reality: Will this be my final reality? Time will tell. 

WARNING: Be careful what you wish for or even casually think about, as it may come to pass. Were the circumstances I mentioned a result of my thoughts manifesting my future? Were they premonitions of what was always destined to be? Or were they just random coincidences? I just don’t know.

Photo by author of the vision board in her bullet journal.


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