Have you ever been somewhere for the first time and gotten an eerie feeling you’ve been there before?
That’s exactly what happened to me when I got to Dublin for the first time in 2006.
I stole that photo from the Internet.
Prior to arriving in Dublin, the only knowledge I had of the city was that I had gleaned from my straight up obsession with Irish literature and film. So while I felt that I had a grip on the culture, the history, and the dialect, I had no idea about the geography. I mean, I had read Dubliners a few times, but I hadn’t gone crazy and mapped it out or anything.
I arrived in Dublin on a bus from Limerick (which had been a trying experience) and then took a cab straight to my B&B. I got myself cleaned up (also a challenge) and ready to explore as quickly as possible. Then I stepped out onto the front steps of my B&B.
And I shit you not, something happened.
Some people believe in ghosts; some people don’t. Some people believe in God; some people don’t. So I don’t expect everyone to believe me when I say this, but as I scanned my surroundings, standing on that front step, it was as though something deep inside of me – somewhere tucked in under my ribcage, somewhere in my gut and my heart and my Self – turned on. Like a switch. It came to life.
I hopped down the steps, turned right, and started walking through Dublin.
“I’ve got to see Trinity College again,” I thought to myself as I made a bee-line across the Liffey.
But wait a second. I had never been to Trinity College before.
So how was I standing in front of it just a short while later?
I’m not here to write an explanation, because I don’t have one. I’m not even here to elaborate on this, because I’m not sure what there is to elaborate on. All I can say is this: for my week or so stay in Dublin, I never once looked at a map. And I never once felt lost (unlike some other experiences I’ve had…). Every time I saw a new sight, it felt like a reminder, like seeing an old friend. Like when you visit a place you haven’t been in a long time and you drive around just to see all the spots you used to go.
That was the week of my life during which I learned that I believe in past lives, 100%.
Have you ever gotten that feeling?