Four weeks ago, a psychic I found on Living Social told me I had lost my soul mate. I laughed and told her I was happily single, but she touched my hand and assured me I wasn’t.
She went on to comfort me and say that with just a small fee of $150 she could make it all better. I declined and wondered about the people who spent that kind of money, but then quickly realized I was currently sitting across from a psychic who already had my money.
When I left her office, I hadn’t fully grasped the effect her words would have on me. But looking back on it, the signs were apparent — I immediately walked across the street into Sunglass Hut and bought a new pair of aviators, maxing out my debit card. I then proceeded to drive home to dig up pictures of my ex.
In one psychic visit, my entire livelihood had been turned upside down. Prior to it, the term “boyfriend” had made me nauseous — being single was just too much fun. But this stranger assured me I was wrong, assured me that I had found my one and only, only to lose him. For whatever reason, I believed her.
Two weeks later, I found myself at Lilly’s Pad at a fraternity formal that had “outsourced to Trinity” because the brothers were bored of us Yale girls. If that wasn’t bad enough, I quickly observed that I was one of two senior girls.
Needless to say, my ex-boyfriend woke up to a voicemail the next morning. Which I followed up with six Snapchats, the last one being, “Yes I know I’m the crazy ex.” (At least the ephemeral nature of Snapchat makes it impossible from him to ever use my snaps as evidence for the necessity of a restraining order.)
I blame my crazy-ex syndrome on this psychic. Blame her for this fleeting virus of insecurity that took over my mind, and blurred the way I saw things.
She could have said, “Oh wow, you are having a hell of a time being single, huh?” and made me smile. But instead she said, “You lost your soul mate, tough luck,” which made me cringe.
Immediately, in a room filled with crystal balls, tarot cards and candles, I felt trapped in my past, a place I hadn’t thought about all year. I felt insecurities arise that didn’t before. They didn’t because I had been so focused on my present, focused on the work I had to get done so I could go to Sunday Funday.
Now, I know not everyone sees a psychic; I’m not that deluded. But unavoidably one does come across a picture of an ex; one does have to sit in the dining hall, paper in hand, and read about the basket he missed yesterday that could have won the game.
Our pasts will forever want to creep into our minds. And if we let them, we’ll only be hurting our futures. Insecurities will surface that anchor us back, hindering us from exploring our potentials.
Our pasts have merely become fictitious stories, inspired by true events. The “soul mate” is gone for a reason. That missed basket wasn’t your fault — the pass could have been different, or the team could have been up by more.
If we dwell on what could have been, we’ll miss out on our presents. If we put effort into a guy we don’t like, just because we’re scared of being single, we may miss out on laying on a rooftop till 4 a.m. with friends passing a bottle of tequila, talking about dreams or the drunk girl that fell into her pizza at Yorkside a few hours before.
We can’t know that we made the right choices; we can only believe that we did our best. Psychics, friends, mothers and newspapers will come along, reminding us of our pasts, pulling us back and creating insecurities. We can’t stop them. But we can stop the way they affect us.
We need to remember that sometimes searching for a way to end our anxieties can create new ones. We need to remember that sometimes the people we go to for advice can be wrong. The weatherman makes mistakes, a pilot can fly off course and the psychic you find on Living Social may have a faulty crystal ball. In the end we can’t know our futures, but that’s okay as long as we remember the beauty of our present.
Chloe Drimal is a senior in Calhoun College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .