“$10 Special, Palm Reading” the bold red letters said. They stood out very much against the white background of the sign, which was oddly located in the middle of the busy sidewalk where we were walking. My best friend Caitlin and I looked at each other quizzically, my uncle trailing behind. I’d visited a psychic before and she told me some crazy things, but I was curious to see if another psychic would say the same. And alas, over an ice cream sundae and some nachos at a nearby diner, we decided to give this psychic a shot.
Let me just disclaim this story with one thing: I don’t exactly believe in psychics. I mean, yeah it’s fun when someone tries to tell you your future, but I think a lot of it has to do with self-fulfilling prophecies and the placebo effect. Geeky neuroscience student ramblings aside, we thought visiting the psychic would be fun nonetheless.
We rang the doorbell and a thin, black-haired woman answered the door.
“Come on in,” she said in a raspy voice, “I’m not busy right now.”
She led the three of us up a very narrow staircase to a blue-walled room. As we ascended the staircase, the sounds of downtown Richmond seemed to melt away. The room smelled strongly of cigarette smoke and was adorned with candles, stones, and strange artwork. A television blared in the background.
“Who wants to go first?” she asked with a gleam of mystery in her eye.
Both my uncle and Caitlin pointed at me. I sighed, smiling a little at the beautiful mystery of what she would say.
“Alright then, have a seat here.”
I sat in front of her, looking her in the eye as she took my palm, glancing over it for a few silent moments. She breathed heavily and closed her eyes and then asked me to make two wishes and only tell her one.
“I want to travel all my life,” I said confidently, keeping the other, more personal wish to myself. Whether or not she agreed with me, I was determined to make both wishes come true.
“I’m sorry to say,” she responded, “but only one of your wishes will come true.” I groaned a little bit on the inside, but on the outside I remained stoic, eager to hear what she would say next.
And the rest, well, it was kind of a blur. At first she didn’t really say anything I hadn’t heard before – I am an old soul, I’ll live a long life, I’m a natural leader, yadda yadda yadda… I guess my mother could have told me the same. But then she told me something interesting, something I won’t soon forget, “you will travel, but not as much as you would like.”
Upon hearing that statement, I felt a bit angry. What does this woman know? I thought. After all, it’s my career. I have to travel throughout my life.
But as her words formed the background noise for my thoughts, I began to internalize what that meant to me. And I made a realization – she’s right. I’ll never travel as much as I anticipate, or as much as I want, or as much as I hope, because that’s not how travel works. I know I will always want to see a new place, or revisit ones I loved, or try a new activity, and I will always want to do more. And ultimately, I realized that it’s my traveler’s heart that will never reach a state of satisfaction. There are always going to be new places to see, people to meet, and stories to hear.
As she wrapped up her reading for me, I chuckled to myself. She told stories of finding soulmates and my future career and all of that jazz, but for me, I realized that I don’t need any of that right now. I know who I love, what I love, and where I want to go. The rest will surely fall into place.
Have you ever been to a psychic? What did you learn? Share your story in the comments!