The Misinterpretation of the Palm

Last night with Mr. Possibility and a few fabulous friends in tow, I attended Cosmopolitan’s Summer Splash Party at the Hudson Terrace. It was everything you’d expect out of a Cosmo party – sponsored in part by Durex and Plan B, complete with blow-outs and make-up touchups, bags of beauty goodies and of course, palm readings.

Now – I’ve had palm readings several time in the past. I’ve always wanted to find one of those secret psychics who doesn’t advertise like the rest of the city clairvoyants with services to offer. Those that are hidden away that don’t charge barely anything at all because they just want to help, they just have this special gift they must offer the world. Because I’m not rich and famous and connected to such individuals, I usually settle for whatever I can find. Whoever can give me an unrealistic peace of mind.

As he could have probably guessed, as soon as I saw the palm readers, I signed up for my turn and Mr. Possibility headed to get us drinks. I manged to only be sixth in line and as I sipped my Pinnacle Whipped Vodka that remarkably tasted just like cream soda, I kept one eye on the table, anticipating my glimpse into the crystal ball. A few minutes later, our mutual friends arrived and while Mr. P joined them in a loop around the space, I sat down in front of my personal psychic for the evening.

Having done this countless times before, I knew exactly how to place my hand and I excitedly waited for her to reveal the vision she saw for me in the future. She casually asked my name and I was careful not to reveal anything else, knowing how easy it is to get sucked into a conversation and then they base your entire reading off of what you’ve already told them. She analyzed my palm, turning it over and running her fingers along the lines. She asked if there was any particular subject I was interested in more than another and I requested to chat about my career, as it happens to be the one I’m thinking about the most these days.

Looking deeply in my eyes as a photographer snapped pictures of me, I tried to look intrigued though she hadn’t said anything yet. “So, I see that you’ve never really known what you wanted to do. You had a hard time picking a major in college and now you’re trying to decide what industry to go into. You’re still young, I see, so you have time. Maybe you should try art school or work at a museum or dabble into writing. You might really like writing if you give it a try. You have someone in your family who can support you financially, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Then you can really explore.”

Not one to hide anything I’m feeling, my forehead must have been scrunched up something awful, so she asked, “Is there any other topic you’re interested in knowing about?” I was stunned speechless at her complete inaccuracy – the other psychics at least can come up with some sort of something that’s somewhat true. I have always been a writer, always known what I wanted to do, and if I do have a wealthy relative I’ve never met, I’d love to be introduced. She was still blinking at me intensely, maybe trying to prove herself impressionable when Mr. P came by and dropped a drink next to me. I didn’t respond to thank him, but it reminded me of something I usually ask about:

Love.

“Well, what about my love life?” I asked. She went back to scrutinizing my hand, tilting her head this way and that as I watched, continuing to doubt her. A few moments later she looked up at me and said, “You have mixed feelings about relationships. You have a hard time committing, don’t spend a lot of time obsessing about love and have never been one to be ridiculous about men. You’re not seeing anyone special, but you could be if you would let go of the past. Wait – not the past, the past of your parents. Don’t worry, just because they are split up doesn’t mean that you’ll split up with your husband. You have to take chances or you’ll look back on your life ten years from now and wonder why you never loved anyone.”

Having heard enough, I thanked her for her time and she gave me hand lotion as a parting gift. Mr. P was waiting close by and asked, “So, what’s the future hold, babe?” I rolled my eyes in annoyance and told him what she said. He jokingly asked if he could meet this side of me and I shared the story with the rest of our friends. Maybe being an astrologer’s daughter has ruined me for psychics, or maybe the comfort we seek in a psychic is something that’s impossible and overrated.

Because as much as we’d like, there’s no one to predict our fates. We can’t control what the universe gives us, only what we give it. There’s no way to see the blueprint, only ways to build the life we want to live. No matter how brilliant it would be to know what’s next, who we’re going to end up with, and what success will find us, knowing before isn’t an option to opt into.

So instead we have to just be. We have to take chances and make mistakes, go so big and so hard that going home isn’t in the cards. We have to pray for what we want but understand we usually get what we need. And though we may hope for the very best, perhaps it’s actually best to prepare for the worst, just in case. We have to have faith in ourselves, trust in the master plan that we can’t see, and love those we’ve yet to meet.

There’s no telling what’s next, no matter how many fortune tellers we visit or stars we read. Maybe we design our destinies, maybe it’s all pre-determined – regardless, the point of it all is to just live, hoping that one day it all works out. Perhaps how we imagined, how we planned, how we thought it would.

Or maybe, it turns out in a way so beautiful and complicated that our own palm could have never predicted its path.

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