I wanted insight into my next 365 day trip around the sun. So, in Istanbul, on my 32nd birthday I found myself sitting around two of my best friends in an upstairs dive restaurant/bar/hookah lounge in a party dress and professionally styled wavy hair, waiting for my tarot card reader and his English translator to summons me. I’ve dabbled in the ideas of actuality versus phony persona behind the psychic arts prior to this, but within moments he had hooked me with his spot-on reading.
After giving up my first name, mother’s first name, and full birthday he asked for my focus for the reading. If there was a pause in my response it was only not to seen too eager: love. Love now, love future, intense love. He nodded and took his long fingers, with matching long fingernails and flipped over the first of the 10 cards. He talked to me about the last meaningful relationship I’ve had, describing our physical location from each other in Portland, when we met, his body type, our emotional distance. The nails started hitting the head and didn’t stop until he asked if I had any more questions.
He told me I was scared to get hurt again because I was hurt badly four years ago. Wait, what? So this stranger is calling me out on the nearly exact timing of the demise of my biggest love to date (it’s actually been 4 years and a month and a half, I later realized for logical fact checking sake)? Yeah, he was.
My heart is completely healed from that breakup of my college love, but it did take me a year to fully move on. After three weeks, I tried the rebound thing, which ended miserably when I cried and kicked him out after giving me an orgasm. The head and heart were not aligned, obviously. (Side-note: I’ve since apologized to the guy who entered and exited my life abruptly through no fault but timing, and years later we are actually friends again [Extra side-note: the world is weird, am I right?]). Then I tried the being alone thing, but I was still focused on the us that was two years strong and five years of friendship beforehand, that I lost, so I moved on to the party really hard in Chinatown phase. Then I dated guys with his name, which was the Universe being a bitch, but that ended as well.
Finally, in time and after much self-reflection I see that he was right all along. On that night, over our homemade vegetarian chili, we discussed how us was great, now, but future us wasn’t ideal. I disagreed. He continued. I cried. He comforted. He did the hard thing. And now we are both thankful. He said travel would always be so important to me and his heart wasn’t that of wanderlust. Portland would be my long-term home and he wanted be to back home, with woods and space.
The tarot card reader gave me time frames, said the words “marriage,” “babies,” and “house,” and if these things do come to fruition is still to be determined, but what I do know is I am open to being vulnerable again, but I am not open to settling, even when it’s harder not to.