When I was 16 years old, I adored Oasis. I had posters up on every wall convinced this was the perfect way to show my adulation. For years I had scoured the pages of my rock magazines hoping to find a viable venue near my Devon home to see them live. Any attempts I had made had always resulted in failure.
However, not long after my 16th birthday, a miracle happened. Oasis announced their new live tour and revealed their opening gigs would take place in Exeter. My teenage heart was fit to burst, finally I would get to see my favourite band in the world. After regaling everyone with my change in fortune, I was surprised by their lack of enthusiasm. I vividly remember the puzzled look on their faces as I detailed how excited I was to finally see them.
“Katie, you do realise it will be near impossible to get tickets for those shows, they will sell out in minutes.”
Admittedly, this wasn’t the first time I’d had this conversation so it is fair to say that this kind of negativity was beginning to irritate me.
“Look, I’m going to go to that concert even if I have to win the tickets off the radio.”
Storming off in a teenage mood, I patiently awaited the date the tickets went on sale, sternly banning anyone from using the phone or calling that morning. Valiantly, I tried and tried to get through but I couldn’t even get a ring tone. As one of the biggest bands at the time, they sold out within half an hour. My heart was broken, how cruel that my favourite band should come to my home town and yet I still couldn’t see them.
Despite my disappointment, I didn’t dwell on my loss and bounced back quickly. Only getting irritated when Oasis fever hit Exeter ahead of the impending concert.
One week before the concert, late one Sunday evening I was listening to my local radio when it announced that it had two tickets to Oasis’s upcoming concert in Exeter to giveaway to one lucky listener. In a moment of irritation, I turned off the radio and went to visit my friend across the road. I wasn’t going to enter only to be disappointed once more. However, my friend was not home when I called round so I went back home turning back on the radio.
At this point the presenter was giving out the number to call, explaining that to win these tickets you would have to be caller 25.
Well, it wouldn’t hurt to call once would it? What did I have to lose? So, I tapped in the number, waiting anxiously for the call to connect. A familiar tone filled my ears…the line was engaged. As my heart sunk once again I decided I wasn’t going to sit all night trying to get a ringtone, so instead I entered 1571 and activated BT call back before replacing the handset.
Unknown to me, BT call back didn’t just notify you when a line was free but held your place in the phone queue. Within minutes, the phone rang back and as I picked up the phone I could hear that it was ringing.
“If you are on a line right now then don’t put the phone down, I’m going to pick up line 25 so whatever you do don’t put the phone down.” As the DJ raised the tension, my heart quickened with each beat it took.
“Ok this is it, hello caller 25 who are you?” It took a second for me to realise the ringing had stopped, that I had heard those words twice. I was caller 25.
“It’s Katie, oh my god I can’t believe it.” A smile crossed my face as I sat down on the floor, my legs feeling weak.
“Congratulations Katie you’ve just won two tickets to see Oasis live in concert next week. If you hold on the line, I’ll take your details.”
After giving my details I hung up the phone, a conversation came into my mind with the sharpest focus.
“Look, I am going to go to that concert even if I have to win the tickets off the radio.”
Since I’d uttered those words I hadn’t given them a second thought but now it seemed like an odd thing for me to have said. Yet, here I sat having won the tickets off the radio, just like I said I would.
That was the first time I experienced something I now attribute to my intuition. While many would see this as a symptom of my optimistic nature. I vividly remember the irritation I felt at being doubted because in my mind there was no question this was going to happen. After I didn’t get the tickets, I convinced myself that I was wrong but yet I hadn’t been wrong. Quite the contrary, I had been absolutely right.
This was not the last of these situations, merely the beginning and for years I too believed that they were attributable to my optimism. As these situations arose, I realised that each time I had felt as if I’d already known the outcome. My confidence in success hadn’t come from optimism, it had come from knowing that I wouldn’t fail. It had come from my intuition.
Now, while I’m referencing a good example of my intuition, it has also given me my fair share of negative outcomes. The inner knowing that a situation wasn’t right which I stubbornly ignored taking that molehill and creating a mountain.
We all talk so much about intuition but yet so many people close themselves off to the most powerful tool we possess. Often, it’s seen as hocus pocus but how come so many people feel it? Is intuition not what causes animals to flee danger before it’s even happened? Are they not listening to their intuition? I remember someone once telling me, if you see birds flying away in a swarm, then run the same way. How bizarre that many could believe in an animal’s instinct but not their own.
For years, I never trusted in my intuition either but that changed in 2006 on New Year’s Eve. Leaving my friend’s house, we both walked towards our cars. Suddenly these words came to my mind “when she overtakes, don’t follow”. I remember feeling confused, I wasn’t even in my car. Brushing it out of my mind as quickly as it came, I followed my friend out of the drive and along the country roads. After 10 minutes, we came to the outskirts of the town. The roads began to get narrower, I watched as my friend overtook a car with a trailer that was travelling around 20mph. I saw I could also easily overtake the car before approaching the upcoming bend, given the car in front was going so slowly.
Suddenly, just before I went to overtake, I remembered the words I’d heard before I left. I stopped in my tracks, figuring it was better to be safe. At that moment, an articulated lorry came speeding around the corner. He had clearly misjudged his speed coming around the bend, ending up on the wrong side of the road. While he rectified it before my friend approached, it was immediately clear that had I overtaken the car in front of me, there is no way I could have avoided a head on collision with the speeding lorry.
Instantly my hands began to shake, tears came to my eyes as I realised those words had just saved my life. My intuition had kicked in to keep me from danger just like the birds who flee an impending natural disaster. In that moment, I made a vow to never disregard my intuition again but to always trust it.
Some people have told me that I was blessed (which I absolutely was) but that doesn’t sit well with me as it implies that if someone had been killed then they wouldn’t have been blessed which isn’t true. I think that in the end, it simply came down to choice. In that split second, I had a choice to either trust my intuition or not.
So, maybe it’s time we stopped giving our intuition a hard time. Maybe we should stop condemning it as something to be ashamed of and begin to trust in it as the gift it is. Maybe it’ll bring you love, perhaps it’ll lead you to prosperity, it may be just that it stops you making a decision that you live to regret. Wherever it leads, it’ll be a helping hand at just the point you need it. If you find yourself doubting it, just remember the animals and their innate ability to sense danger, we are all born with that ability but if we don’t use it, we lose it.