I would try to make this a ‘long story short,’ but where would the fun be in that?
At an event I attended recently for the company I work for, I won a door prize, a complimentary half hour session of “Intuitive Counselling.” Translation: I went to see a psychic for the first time. Ever since going yesterday afternoon, I have wanted to write about the experience. Luckily, because I don’t know if posting a “Google Review” counts as writing, I have a blog.
To be fair, she stated her practice approached things differently than what I may have thought a typical psychic does, and that she doesn’t work predictively. I liked that because I believe, in part, that ‘what you think about, you bring about,’ and self-fulfilling prophesy is real. The film Paycheck based on the short story of the same name by Philip K. Dick taught me that. (I love all things Philip K. Dick, by the way, and even though Blade Runner 2049 obviously isn’t written by him, as he passed away in 1982, I still cannot wait to watch it when it hits theatres in a few weeks).
Honestly, she did seem quite intuitive. Early on the session, which we specifically decided at the beginning would focus on the very broad theme of “career,” she pulled the “Creativity” card from a deck of 79 cards. She asked me if I my current career allowed me to be creative, and I said, no, but I had recently recommitted to fitting in time for creativity within my current work structure. She asked what my creative outlet was, and I said, “I’m a writer.”
I did not tell her that after more than a year away from school, I was finally applying for grad school. I did not tell her that I spent 17 out of 27 years going to school as a part-time student to obtain my undergrad degree.
But, I suppose she could have Googled me, and read this blog…
Anyhow, she did mention a few things about my job (not writing) that I certainly hadn’t mentioned, which impressed me. How the heck did she pick up on some of the conflict I’d recently went through with hiring? However, she made an assumption about something that I initially decided not to correct her on. Her assumption was that if “I’m a writer,” I intended to be a writer for my profession, and that would mean the pursuit of becoming commercially successful with publishing, going to book signings, negotiating movie deals, and maybe even screenwriting adaptations.
She cautioned that “fitting in time for creativity within my current work structure” could be a problem if I needed to pursue my career marketing myself as a writer, because I would need to find balance.
Even though she missed the mark on my chosen profession, which is ultimately teaching, not being the next J.K. Rowling, she intuited that balance is the challenge. Based on how our conversation had been, with her saying things about the various cards she drew, and me not saying much at all, I think that was very ‘intuitive’ of her. I didn’t tell her this: Balance has been a huge struggle for me for most of this year. I was a student for ten years between the years 2006 and 2016. After graduating, without something like schooling that I was actively pursuing outside of my job, I spent a good part of 2017 feeling directionless, out of sorts, and untethered. However, in the last month, when I decided I would definitely be applying for grad school, I dusted off my manuscript from 2009 and finally self-published my first novel. Then I researched low and optional residency writing schools, I drafted reference request letters, and I started writing again on the novel I began last November for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). With this forward momentum, most evenings I go to bed feeling positive and accomplished.
It’s only really in the last five weeks that I’ve again constructed a balance between work and creativity, and my spirits have substantially improved. Did she pick up on that intuitively? Yes, I think there is a chance she did. She actually mentioned going back to familiar structures, instead of forging new ones. Did she know what was in my future? Not exactly, but as she told me right at the beginning, she doesn’t work predictively.
Later on in the session, I finally corrected her and said that I was not keen on counting on books sales to pay my bills, and that my future ‘career’ involved writing for the love of the writing by firstly being accepted as a student of my craft, (grad school, part time, of course, for the next 5 to 6 years). And then that I would like to be a professor of the craft of writing, at a college or university, (which to me is still being a student on some level because I believe writing is something we practice, like practicing law or medicine).
I wonder what it would have been like to have gone to see her two months ago while I was still mired in feelings of fecklessness? Anyhow, I feel like I am going in the right direction now regardless.