Psychic Encounter


Knowing my future while still in my present is an idea that has always intrigued me. If I already knew I’d be a published author with an amazing husband, I might sleep better at night, but aside from one time in San Francisco when I walked by a woman who remarked on my bright blue aura, I’d never pursued the clairvoyant. Last month, I was gifted thirty minutes with a psychic, and thought my brilliant future would finally be revealed.

Preparatory instructions for the meeting included making a list of questions. I had plenty, starting with, would I EVER find the right guy? But as the day of my reading approached, I recognized my dilemma: I only wanted a certain result. What if my future was not that which I hoped? What if the psychic revealed a path I didn’t expect, or an outcome I couldn’t accept? Would my days be filled with dread and hopelessness waiting for the prophecy to come true?

With only twenty minutes to go, my mind raced. Should I ask the tough questions? Or should I ask the unimportant questions? I should have been working to relax and clear my mind, as the instructions stated, but I was nervous. Maybe I should continue to live day to day swathed in the ease of ignorance. I didn’t pay for the session. I could skip it. With less than a minute to decide, I took a deep breath in, and as I released it, I came to a conclusion. My life is my life. Nothing that this woman could tell me would throw me so far out of balance that I wouldn’t recognize my own path. I stepped up to face my fate with a smile.

As it turns out, I’m going to have a great life. She offered no specifics, and I didn’t press for details. I couldn’t bear to ask about my relationship status, but she addressed it anyway, saying I was on the right track, things are in place, and everything would work out. At the very least, I got a really great pep talk. Her only solid advice echoed what I already tell myself daily: Be patient and STOP over thinking things.

We already know when life is going well, and when it isn’t, we make the necessary changes to shift course. Sometimes the changes take a lot of consideration. I’m a big fan of pro-con lists, but in the end, no matter which column has more items, I usually go with my gut. I trust my own instincts. Right now, my life is enjoyable. It’s not traditional, and it may not be memorable to others, but I feel like I’m in a good place. I’m not sure why I needed a stranger to reassure me that everything is fine? Perhaps because I’ve fooled myself before, but the older I get, the more I recognize that I’m the one who affects the outcome of my life. There are no magic wands, spells, or potions that change the course of where I’m headed, and whether a psychic can see my future or not, she has no divining power over it. I make the choices and decisions. I make the happiness.



The Safe Choice

      When I bought my first new car, I knew exactly what I wanted. My dream car was expensive and entirely impractical. So, I test drove the safe, sensible car. I haggled over the car with good gas mileage, four doors, and trunk space. When the only available color in the standard sedan was gray, I should have recognized my mistake and walked away, but I convinced myself that the price was right, and I bought it.

      Six years later, the car that was meant to take me where I needed to go without complaint, died. The collective jaws of my friends, neighbors, and coworkers dropped. Everyone insisted the car should have lasted over ten years. This was not supposed to happen. I didn’t love the car, but it was the safe choice. The practical, reliable car meant to make my life easier kicked the bucket right after the warranty expired.

      I was left in need of another car. I could have purchased another middle of the road sedan (albeit a different brand, of course), but I decided to change tack and take a peek at used models of the car I had originally wanted but never looked at because I couldn’t justify a two door convertible that barely had room for groceries. I found a model from the prior year that had been a dealer’s test drive car. It had low mileage, no frills, was in my price range, and the color? Christmas Ribbon Red. Six years later, my dream car drives perfectly. I love it. I wish I’d realized sooner that the safe choice isn’t always right.

      Reasonable, rationale, and prudent choices are important. I make a lot of them everyday. I rely on sensible shoes. I eat sensible foods. I try to go to bed and wake up at a sensible hour. Playing it safe reduces risk, and can be beneficial, but as I’ve learned the hard way, the practical answer can also reduce (or eliminate) joy. Finding equilibrium between the safe choice and the choice that will make you happy in order to end up at the best option is important.

      Decisions are motivated by love and/or fear. I wear sensible shoes because I fear falling on my face or twisting my ankle in high heels (that would otherwise make my legs look amazing). Also, being comfortable trumps my need to look good. I choose to go to bed at a decent hour because I fear being exhausted the next day, and I love my bed. I eat sensible foods because I enjoy the taste of fresh vegetables and because I fear the reaction my body has to junk food.

      But when faced with a new opportunity, I keep an eye out for ways to indulge a more speculative option; to experience the joy that otherwise sensible judgements don’t offer. I’ve found that my impractical car makes driving to my practical job much more fun, and sometimes taking off for the weekend with friends when I really should be tackling my to do list makes it easier to face those chores next time. Veering from the expected when it really counts is a departure from ordinary to extraordinary, and by testing the waters of the whimsical, the frivolous, the foolish, and the experimental, you might discover something unexpected makes a lot of sense.