I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did it. I booked a reading with a psychic last Friday.
I don’t believe in God. I weathered more than a decade of religious schooling, slept through chapel every Wednesday, once wrote an essay in algebra class where we had to pull three verses from the Bible in order to support our argument that math was evidence that God created a beautiful and orderly world. As if that weren’t enough, I then went on to attend a public university in the States, where enormous anti-abortion posters of bloody fetuses or tiny white crosses symbolizing all the poor murdered babies cropped up on the grassy plains of our campus every so often, with earnest white people accosting you at every corner to shove Bibles at you and ask if you just had one minute to talk about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — I came out of all of that intact with a touch of PTSD, but still very much an atheist.
I don’t believe in God; I am a heathen girl with absolutely zero morals and no faith in a supernatural man-being, but I somehow found it in me to wire an undisclosed sum of money to a self-professed healer. My mother recommended her to me; she’s fond of these sorts of things. Typical of us Japanese heathens, substituting witchcraft and paganism for the love of a Christian God in order to fill up the void in our empty, wicked hearts, and soothe the pulsating anxiety of living in a cannibis-free country situated over constantly shifting tectonic plates with an insipid, male-dominated government and hilariously sluggish vaccine rollout. Yes: in times of doubt, have your fortune told. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I stalked my psychic’s Instagram beforehand, as any good millennial is wont to do. She was a plump, middle-aged woman with a kind face, who almost exclusively posted aesthetically displeasing close-up collages of her restaurant meals and pet pug. A normie. So normal, in fact, that it was almost disappointing.
Skeptic that I am, I still prepared a Google Doc of questions in bullet-points, font size 11, categorized by topic, like the insufferable nerd that I am. I convinced myself that this was just for shits and giggles, like petting a heavily sedated, overfed tiger or falling for emotionally unavailable men or eating an entire bag of potato chips after nine p.m. This was going to be a Life Experience.
Friday rolled around, the clock struck eight, and an unknown number flashed across my phone screen. I picked up. Her voice was lower than expected, warm and inviting. I opened up my Google Doc. I lobbed question after question at her. I took brief, concise notes, like the insufferable nerd that I am.
I could copy and paste the transcript of our session, but that would be akin to posting a nude online; it’s far too vulnerable. I’d gone into the session with two contradicting emotions — largely doubtful and yet wildly hopeful that she would drop super-specific predictions into my lap, por ejemplo that on August 9th, 2022, at precisely 17:34 p.m., I would win the lottery and move to Madrid within the week after narrowly escaping a thrilling attempt on my life that would later be adapted into a made-for-TV movie and fall in love with the lovely mustachioed man or the woman with the pixie cut and sleeve tattoos and two dogs on the floor above my apartment and live happily ever after, or some other equally trite, happy ending. I just wanted blind, unfounded reassurance from somebody that things were gonna turn out okay for me, even if I had to pay money to hear it.
Turns out, I’m not moving to Madrid. She didn’t say I would, in any case. It was more like counseling than a fortune telling session, really. Ah, so this is what therapy must feel like, I thought. To lay bare all your embarrassing, stupid thoughts and insecurities, things that you can’t really burden anyone else with that you know in real life. Because negative energy transfers. You let all your inner emotional gunk out like a rain cloud, and it sinks into the other person and fills them up, too. But when you let your inner cloud out to a therapist, the money you pay them cancels out the cloud; it has a sort of purifying effect, I imagine. That, and the years and years of professional training that prevents them from absorbing the cloud in the first place, and the fact that they probably have their own therapist too, to release both their cloud and the residual clouds of their patients.
I don’t have the financial means of paying someone to listen to my problems on a weekly or monthly basis. Actually I do, but I don’t want to, because I am a thrifty, capitalistic hoe and money takes precedence over mental health. In all seriousness though, therapy isn’t just white people stuff. It’s like the Pensieve, in the Harry Potter books. You take out your memories, sometimes your worst thoughts, so you can have help with examining them and unlearning harmful behavior. So you can finally feel a little better than before. If it were more affordable and covered by health insurance, it’d save so many people in my country.
My psychic didn’t tell me the things I wanted to hear. That I’d have a hot girl summer, that things would definitely work out with this person, that I was destined to become a famous author, that the best platonic and romantic loves of my life were yet to come, that I would die peacefully in my sleep at the ripe old age of 112 years old, with crowds of people wailing and beating at their chests in agony at my funeral.
But she told me things like the following:
- It’s never one person’s fault when a friendship/relationship fails
- Don’t expect people to love you in your love language, because they might be expressing it in theirs and you just don’t recognize it
- Just stop expecting anything from people, period
- Be more selfish — check in with yourself about what you want, not what they want
- He ain’t the one, sis
- Don’t worry so much about whether past connections should remain buried — instead, believe that if a connection is reignited, it is because there are still lessons to be learnt from that connection; when you feel that there is no longer anything they can teach you, you will part ways again
I reviewed my highlighted notes from our conversation and it was pretty evident that all of the above and redacted information she told me were easily inferable from the background info I gave her, and not proof of her supernatural abilities. It’s just generic, chicken-soup, run-of-the-mill advice, and I don’t actually agree with all of it, but sometimes, that’s all you really need. I was almost bursting at the seams with all the gray smoke and clouds billowing inside of me, but talking to her felt like popping bubble wrap; I feel lighter now. Less cloudy. Madrid and mustachioed men be damned, mental health matters, y’all. You have to let your clouds out from time to time.
All in all, money well spent. Hit me up if you’re in need of a Pensieve of your own, and I’ll refer ya.