I Saw the Sign…and It Opened Up My Eyes…

A storm is rolling in.

I can see the clouds to the west growing darker and darker.  It must be a slow moving storm because it’s been growing darker and muggier for about and hour now.  Small rolls of thunder remind us that soon?  There will be rain.  And wind.  And louder thunder.  It might get scary.

But the weather assures us it will be short-lived.  There will be sun again after.  Even though more storms will come after that.  Those they are not as sure about.  Just that there will be more storms.


Is it a coincidence that as I have been searching ALL DAY to write about paying attention to signs, the signs of a storm have been growing and growing outside?

I read in my O magazine (and heard Oprah say it on her show) millions of times that the universe is full of signs.  That there are no such things as coincidences.  My friend, Missy loves this idea.  My faith (which in my mind is always my mom’s voice) follows this idea too only it is called a Plan.  Those signs? I think I am starting to believe.  Oprah, Missy, my mom?  They might be right.

It starts with little subtle signs–like the storm outside, there was a barely perceptible rise in the dew point (it’s been so damn muggy around here lately, how in the crap could we tell?).

Then, if you don’t act on those signs, they get bigger and a bit more pushy.  The thunder has been increasing around here.  And Cort just had to switch on the lights because it has gotten so dark.  It moved us to DO something about the signs.  Nothing huge, mind you.  We are still going about our normal Sunday, but because of the storm?  We had to move away from what we are doing to turn on the lights.

After that, if the Universe isn’t happy with the “action” that you may or may not have taken, the signs get even more aggressive and all up in your business.  This storm?  It’s coming.  We should probably close the garage door and pick up any toys that are outside since now the wind is blowing pretty hard.  We should probably bring in anything that is out drying that we don’t want to get all wet and blown into the neighbors yard.

And so on and so forth until the Universe MAKES you see the signs and take the path you are supposed to take.

The Sluiters know the signs of a storm.  We have weathered quite a few.  But this one that is rolling in and out of our life right now?  It has different signs–at least for me.

At some point during this current storm of unemployment and job scares, some sort of new wind blew at me.  First it had me question the state of education in my state.  Do I really have what it takes to deal with this broken machine?  Do I even want to?  I love teaching, but I don’t love the machine.  The political broken machine.

Then I started writing.  And you started reading.  And commenting.  It reminded me of my love of the written word.  So I wrote more.  Some of you sent freelance opportunities my way. Some of these opportunities I have pursued. Some have accepted me!  Lots of you have asked me to guest post lately.  I am all sorts of in love with writing.  The Universe seems to be telling me that someone likes my writing.

But I am too humble stupid faithless to believe that this could be true.  I read what I consider great writing.  There are some of you who fill me up with inspiration while at the same time make me feel like small potatoes with my own talent (not because you are jerks, but because you are WONDERFUL).

So I keep writing here.  And wondering.  And dreaming.

I caught myself remembering how authors/writers were rock stars to me as a kid…and really as an adult.  I don’t think I could ever write fiction.  (could I?), but maybe a memoir.  But would anyone want to read that?  What would that be?  Sluiter Nation in a binding?  Who cares about our zoo visits or my cat’s vet appointments?  But I guess there is other stuff…but I just don’t feel that it is book material.  But what is it?  What am I supposed to be doing with this new found love?  Is it just a hobby?

As a kid, writing was a dream.  You couldn’t really DO that as a profession.  That was for talented people like Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary (who’d going to see Ramona and Beezus with me, by the way?).  People with mad skills like Jen Lancaster and Anne Lamont get to write about their lives and have people coming back for more.  There are people out in the blogging world even who are way better than me who aren’t even thinking about publishing.  What do I have to offer?

And are you supposed to admit that you want to be a writer?  Or is that just opening yourself up for snarky comments about how you should “stick to your day job.”

I don’t know.

Right now, on this Sunday afternoon, I am dreaming as I watch the storm.  When the sun comes out…will I be in the same exact place, just bracing for another storm?  Hoping this one doesn’t do any more damage?  Will I ignore the signs and stick with what is “safe” (ha!  right!) and very clichely just wait for the other shoe to drop?

Or will I recognize the signs, step out of my crappy storm shelter, and face the rain with hope and desire?

I don’t know.  I really don’t.  Oh…here comes the sun.  That storm is over.  For now.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Why do we always have such trouble saying out loud the things we really want? Why?

    Especially when the storm clouds are not storm clouds at all, but signs of more peaceful weather . . . why do we look for the rain?

    You are a writer.

    Own that.

    Be that.

    And say it out loud.

  2. New Breed Mama says

    There are lessons each of us must learn in life. If you miss "the sign" and fail to learn the less, you will continue to be presented with similar situations in life until you see the sign and learn the lesson.

    I too have always wanted to write a book. I have finally stepped out of my comfort zone and started my book proposal. Good luck to you. If you think positive and know you will achieve your dream, then the universe will deliver!

  3. Adrienne says

    When I was a little girl? I never wanted to be a ballerina or a doctor or a lion tamer. I always wanted to be a writer. My parents made sure I knew that was a ridiculous dream.

    Which is in itself ridiculous, because lots of people make a living from writing! Very few get rich; only a tiny fraction write bestsellers. But lots of people write!

    For me, Carter getting too ill for me to work a regular job has forced my hand. I have to be home and I have to be able to work when he's at school or at night when he's asleep.

    I'm sad that my hand had to be forced, and I constantly fear that this won't work, that I'll never be anything but a small-timer who has a few readers and makes a tiny bit of money. But nobody is going to be brave FOR me. I have to be brave for myself. You can be brave for you, too.

  4. Blue Moon Girl says

    Good post. Sometimes it's so hard to listen to the signs. So hard to recognize those signs. Sometimes they are beating us over the head and we still don't get it. We only get a headache from the head beating. 🙁

    Hope you manage to listen to your signs! I know I'm trying harder to listen to mine!

  5. 2leftbarefeet says

    Reading this post was perfect timing for me. Rather, your writing it in the first place was. There is an order to things, of course.

    Ten years ago, that's what I wanted to be, a writer. Then other things took precedence. Another person's desire and passions. Then more responsibilities came along with kids. Had to keep the day job.

    Now, here I am, finally realizing I've done nothing for myself in so long and I'm trying to figure out what the hell it was I thought I was supposed to do.

    My creativity has been stifled so long, I'm now trying to get it back. I not only want to write again, but paint. Create. In whatever form.

    This is the first time I've read your blog, and why today did I click the link? Could it be that this morning I had iTunes on shuffle and Ace of Base came through the speakers (I'm not kidding)?

    It must be a sign. Thank you for writing.

  6. Great post. Sorry I have no answers for ya, but I think you need to continue on this path and see what doors it leads you to. I think that if things are meant to be they have a tendency to work themselves out. Good luck. And keep writing.

  7. missy widener says

    the signs are there my dear friend. You just have to learn to trust them. And want to believe. And that is all I want to say about that. Because I know some day you will. When you are ready. And I really like storms. Ah-lot.

  8. Pumpkin and Piglet says

    I think signs are everywhere, we just have to see them and react. I know though, that I have been guilty of seeing the signs and ignoring them for many reasons. Your signs are there my friend, listen to them.

  9. torie@Life With Rylie says

    Girl you are such a great writer! I for one am a horrible writer. I like to write but I am not good at all. I look up to your writing skills cause you got mad ones 🙂

  10. Girl, you need to walk down this path and see what life has in store in this area of your life! You are super talented! 🙂

  11. louiseedington says

    Oh yes, I believe in signs for all kinds of things in life. Sometimes I misread them but that often becomes apparant as more signs appear.

    You are a great writer. I say heed those signs and write!

  12. learninginmy30s says

    If there's anything I have learned over the last few years is to follow the signs. Katie, like you, I always felt like there was something inside me waiting to get out and I finally went for it and couldn't be happier. Your writing is uplifting and addictive. I know you have a story in you that many would like to read. Just believe in your abilities and try to enjoy the storms, because most of the time it's the storms that make us realize our dreams and desires and makes us go for what we've always wanted.

  13. Adventures In Babywearing says

    I think your heart knows how to read those signs, it knows the language.

    You should totally follow it no matter if it would be a career or not. I think if I were to write and be published, I'd want it to be fiction and not what I blog about. And I might even want to make up a pen name and everything. I think about this sometimes…


  14. Mungee's Ma says

    Go for it! We are always our own worst critics, unnecessarily at that! I'm still waiting for the universe to reveal the dream I am supposed to follow 🙂

  15. Jessica Anne says

    You are a writer. You have a blog, you write. It's really no different writing a book (I keep telling myself that). Call yourself a writer, you will become a writer. Positive thinking/visualization, whatever you imagine you can do.

  16. I just wanted to pop in and say that I support you. And I KNOW what you mean. Writing, and writing well, is a passion of mine, but what story am I telling?

    I know what you're saying. And I say go for it.

  17. Katie, this is such a great writing. Seriously, girl you have a talent! Maybe you will write about how you guys are following the 'signs' and weathered the 'storms' thrown at you and you survived it all 😀 You bet I would buy a copy!