Today I had my first Tarot card reading at a trade show I attended. To some degree, I’m already fairly well-versed in card reading. When I was in high school, I learned how to read a deck of playing cards to predict the past, present, and future for other people. Diamonds and hearts often held good news. Clubs were slightly trickier. Spades seldom told you what you wanted. Various numbers, when combined with spades, often meant your future would be fraught with death, upset, and legal troubles. I did this for a number of people but never myself. Reading yourself is too biased - you’ll only tell yourself what you want to hear and manipulate bad things to mean good ones.
Here were the results of my reading. Future me is slated for the following:
-my writing will take off and pay me in spades within the next few years.
-within the year I will be signing legal documents that will mean excellent things to come my way
-my grandmother will (most likely) pass away from health problems relatively soon (now whichever one it is anyone’s guess)
-next year I’ll be moving
-but I won’t leave California for the next five years (?)
-in three years time, I will be married. This is especially eerie because in three years time I will be 27 which is the same age my mother was when she married my dad.
-I will make an important trip by the end of October. It will be one of those trips in which I agonize on whether or not to do it. I am to make that trip no matter what.
-I should also stop overthinking stuff. I do it a lot. I weigh out pros and cons constantly and the psychic warned me to stop.
-Currently I have a lot of guys vying for my attention (not to be totally not modest here but for the first time ever, this shit is actually true) but in classic me form, I’m only attracted to one of them. The psychic told me that the first name of the person I like begins with an “M” and I damn near fell off of my chair. According to the cards, he is also equally attracted to me back.
-work is just great. The cards say I will probably keep working within this field for the next five years (woo!)
-and people like to ask me for advice! Neat.
Clearly this needs to happen.
On Friday night, I finished up reading Mockingjay, the third and final book in The Hunger Games series. If you are wondering if you should pick up a copy of the first book and read it, maybe a little bit afraid that since it’s in the teen aisle at the bookstore and may contain wording akin to Stephanie Meyer’s series on sparkly vampires, by all means get a copy. It is nothing like most of the teen fiction that is out on the market today. The Hunger Games in a word is jarring. Mentally and physically so. The premise of the series is that in a future America (better known as Panem) there are 12 districts and a Capitol which is the central government. Once a long time ago, there was a rebellion against the Capitol and as both a punishment and reminder to the districts for what they did, an annual Hunger Games event is held with one boy and one girl chosen from each district via a lottery drawing. The contestants are all put together in an arena and forced to fight until the death. They are also between the ages of 12-18 years old. Children.
There were many times when reading the series (especially in the final book) where I had to put it down for some time and go do something else. It’s not exactly a light summertime read. Gripping and enthralling, yes, but horrific and nightmare-inducing if you sat on the thoughts for too long and thought about them too much, also yes. You won’t like the government much after reading this series. There were moments where I was reminded of the Holocaust more than once. Ever since I was in grade school, the Holocaust has been an aspect of history that causes me to cry almost within minutes of seeing footage or film reenactments. I simply cannot understand what would bring so many people to be so hateful against another group of individuals. Or what kind of just god would allow for the suffering of so many (God, it should be noted, does not seem to exist in The Hunger Games which makes for an interesting take on the future of religion).
Beyond the books, the theme of the world ending is drawing nearer on the silver screen as well. In Time is a trailer I keep seeing staring Justin Timberlake (I didn’t want to write that either) that is set in the future of when people stop aging at 25 and the new currency is time as opposed to money. You want to keep living, you need time to do it with. Though this movie won’t take over one of my very favorite apocalyptic films, Children of Men, which if you haven’t seen it, make it next in your netflix queue. Undoubtedly more and more of these films and books will keep cropping up as all of the brouhaha over the world ending in 2012 according to the Mayan calendar draws near.
After reading The Hunger Games, I had dreams about being trapped in the arena. In my dreams, the arena was always snowing and cold, and I had to fight against past contestants from America’s Next Top Model. It’s caused me to run some ideas of world ending storylines in my own head too. I was already working on a little side piece about the future in my own spare time (the little I have), but these books brought other ideas into the mix too. Such as the future of working. Marriage. People as a whole. Weight and physical appearance. The mind. Even death. Control, as an ever-present theme. The need to have it over others as a way to reassure the self that it can handle every and any situation, despite extremities. The romantic within me does like to envision the future with love in it. The sensationalist in me likes the theory of aliens invading the earth (I am such a sucker for a terrible alien film). The optimist in me likes to envision in the future everyone will be content with what they do, but I’m sure that there is a person who has that thought every 200 or so years too.
Nostalgia is another overriding theme lately. Maybe one day in the future, we will have all stopped living within our present and keep fleeing to days gone by because they were simpler and better within our eyes. People enable us to live within the past. Machines filter in the good ole days into our line of vision nonstop. But then one day we won’t be able to flee anymore. There will be a malfunction of some sort and the world will have to look at what they are suddenly faced with having, with owning, with living in. The fight to make their realization that they can’t go back tie in with where they are now.
I call that story idea “Today.”
This has been a nerdy post of self-actualization,
Going to sleep has been difficult for me lately, once again. Though this time I am proud to report that unlike this time last year, the troubles are different this time around. Last year was all of the worry and struggle that comes with being a freshly graduated college grad with too many bills, not enough money, and a job that would soon turn sour on me. This time around, the worry is different. The bills are still there (though substantially less which is a tremendous upside) and the new job is kickin’ but there’s still so much thought roaming through my head every night. I can’t seem to quiet my head anymore from thinking or wondering when it’s time to shut down for the night. I read a line recently about how “the millennial mind wanders” and I wondered just how applicable that is to the wandering mind getting ready to shut down for the night.
It’s never been easy for me to fall asleep when I know I have a set amount of time to sleep in. A time frame to complete my sleeping within. If I don’t do it within that allotted amount, I’m screwed. If I do, I still might be screwed depending on the amount of rapid eye movement that goes down. I’m much better at napping. Naps for me seldom include a time frame and thus I can keep them long or short as much as I like. For the past couple of days, I’ve taken to coming home before my roommates and lying on the couch, letting the British accents on BBC America guide me to slumber. Very soothing. My version of someone’s rain sound machine. Then I wake up at about 8pm, make dinner, go online, and then get ready for bed again at 10ish. My difficulty going to sleep worsens by the fact that I just had an enjoyable nap and lying there in bed all I can think is you have to wake up at 5am. You have precisely 6 hours until you have to wake up again. Why 6 hours? Because by now it’s probably 11pm and you’re still thinking aren’t you?
So I try to think about other things. Most of these thoughts are future-based. Like every person in my family tree with the Taylor surname, I’m thinking of tomorrow and the days to come after. The later in the evening it gets, the more warped and bizarre these thoughts become. I feel like my favorite literary heroine Jessica Darling from the Sloppy Firsts series. In the first two books, she had insomnia and simply could not sleep so she would go running at 4am. Shutting down her mind was too difficult. I feel ya sister. Only the difference is that she was in high school and I am not, nor have I been in 5 years as last week’s 5 year reunion at my high school posted on Facebook reminded me (I did not RSVP). It’s remarkable how problems we had in high school are wholly insignificant now- how did I do on that pop quiz in trig? My best friend is absent today, who do I sit with in the cafeteria? Will my name be on the callbacks list for the school play? I’m certain many people would gladly trade in their current issues in a heartbeat to go back to the h.s. ones of old. I would not. Once you stop having homework and tests you never want it back in your life again.
So I’m thinking of the past, but that quickly segues into the future. God, who am I going to live with next year? Or work? This entire thought was jackhammered into my skull the other day when one of my roommates casually mentioned that she planned to move in with her boyfriend after our lease was up next June. BOOM. Explosions began raining down on me in the form of committed relationships. The road to life that both of my roommates are on right now is one that is leading to eventual wedding bells. I can see it so clearly in my head that there is no doubt whatsoever. And it will be a beautiful road. But my road? It is paved with a future of solo apartments, career changes, different wardrobe styles, too many Ramen noodles, and a million question marks. In some ways, the ways that my mind thinks the closer we get to 1am every night, I am resentful of couples. They have a crutch in each other and can lean on the other for support. A built-in Insta-buddy. When one goes somewhere, usually the other will follow. It seems easy if you view it from a different set of eyes, but I know that deep down it isn’t. It just looks easy. Looking the part is a world away from the reality of the place you’re at.
I imagine just where I might be in another five years. I have my ideals on where I’d like to be. Of course, where you’ll be isn’t just about where you live or who you live with (I will probably be living alone though). It’s a state of mind. Where I am mentally today I was not a year ago and I am very happy with future-Heather. I don’t worry much about myself. Even late at night when the thought process gets increasingly stranger, I know I’ll be fine. The very moment I’m flung out of my comfort zone is the moment that my brain cells leap up and begin to construct a plan together on how to regroup, recalculate, change. My determination and refusal to give in and give up aid me well. On my own, I don’t doubt I won’t be fine in the future. I only wonder how the fine part will translate to where I’m at, both in a physical space and a mental place.
Alright now that’s enough of that deep thought my head admonishes me time to imagine a great future! Then my head whisks me off to future-Heather living in a tiny apartment in New York City, dashing all over the city with her handbag and iPod and a smile on her face. La la la. This is my version of counting sheep- counting skyscrapers.
My millennial mind holds its share of fantasy thought with morbid moments. For every glimpse of future success I see in my head, I will veer into other places. Some of it is reality like my god my tooth hurts what if it’s a cavity I should probably go to the dentist soon and stop sticking my mouth up with Orajel. Other times it’s places in your head you don’t want to enter like thinking about the sudden death of a family member or the event of a natural disaster. You don’t like to think about it but damnit it’s 2am now and the thoughts are only multiplying in scope and possibility of actual occurrence. Sometimes I think that by thinking early on about these possibilities I’ll be ready just in case. I know I won’t be though. Truthfully, I’m worried about how I might behave if someone in my intermediate family died. How it would affect me later on in life or the other members of my family. I wonder who would be the first to go. And how it would happen. My most sincere wish would be for everyone to have a peaceful death. Going out in as little pain as possible should be one of those wishes that we make on genies if genies existed.
Okay it’s time for me to return to planet Earth as Woody Allen mentioned in Annie Hall. Which is one of my favorite movies. I saw it when I was in high school one late night on PBS. Uncut. So funny. I start laughing to myself in bed. Nice. It’s probably 2:30am right now and I’m laughing about a movie made in the ’70s to myself. Alone. Forever alone! Oh internet memes, you invade even my most quiet of evenings. Speaking of aliens (planet Earth, hello) I begin to fantasize one of my other favorite fantasies to myself: an alien invasion. Sometimes I also enjoy deep thoughts about the possibility of Jurassic Park being an actual thing and if we could get some more Godzilla action up in here. It’s weirdly soothing and begins to beckon me to sleep…
Now it’s 5am and once again, I goofed my way off through the night and got 2 hours of sleep again.
From the desktop of the working girl’s mind,