To See or Not to See the Future

If someone could truly tell you the future, would you want to know?

I know people who have gone to psychics to discover their futures or to come to terms with their pasts. Many have walked away feeling better for having gone. But, me? I wonder how I would feel and if knowing or believing I know would change the road I’m on.

For someone who wants to cry if someone spoils a book for me, I don’t think I would want to know.  Hell, I’d probably cry even with amazing news.  I like the surprises.  I like the anticipation and just the possibilities of something wonderful.

A friend of mine is communicating with a psychic who has predicted unbelievably accurate and specific events in the lives of her friends. Divorce, death, success. This psychic predicted that one woman would cheat on her husband, and she walked away with a disbelieving wave. Later, she did. This same psychic told one man that he needed to quickly check his accounts at work because someone was stealing from him, and if he didn’t, his company would go under. He laughed it off because he owned his own company, and the only other two people working with him were his brother and cousin—both equally trusted. Later, it turned out to be true, and he lost his company.

There are certain types of people in this world. I’ll call them the pessimists and the optimists, and then some people who can fall to either side when the occasion warrants it. I’m kind of like the last one. I sit on a fence, and I wonder which way I’ll fall during a crisis. It’s anyone’s guess.

Take the pessimist. If he goes to the fortune teller or psychic, and she tells him that he only has two years to live, will he go out and live those two years to his fullest? Not likely. He’ll moan about the unfairness of life. He’ll be extra careful when crossing the street. He’ll basically be dead by the time he exits the room with the beaded drapes and crystal ball. He has expected to hear the worst, and he has.

The optimist will look at that two-year death sentence as a license to live. He’ll visit places he always wanted to visit. He’ll skydive and wake up early and go to bed late because he doesn’t want to miss a thing. He’ll—as McGraw croons in the popular song—“live like (he was) dying.”

So, how does this work its way into a writing blog? Well, I’ll tell you. If I went to a psychic, and she told me I would become a successful—no, best-selling author—with many published books under my belt, my life could go one of two ways. I could become nonchalant, knowing that it was just a matter of time, so why work so hard? Or I could feverishly hammer away at my keyboard, ignoring other aspects of my life while expecting that life-changing call.

And if I got the exact opposite news for my future? That I would never be published? How would I take that one? Probably not so well. Let’s face it, I’ve been in a one-girl pity party for myself for months now because of contests and critiques and having to hear everybody else’s good news. If a fortune teller told me that I would never be published while I’m in my current frame of mind, I would drop writing like a hot potato.

If I were told that one of my kids wouldn’t live past the age of sixteen, would I hold them all a bit closer? Would I stress into the early hours of the morning about which one would die and when and how and why? Probably. If I was told that I would cheat on my husband, would I, knowing that I supposedly would anyway? No. I would fight it, and try my hardest to change the future.

So, instead of going to see the psychic, I’ve decided to give myself a look into my possible future. I will live to a ripe old age, with my ripe, old husband beside me with our five kids and tons of grandkids. I will have an amazing group of friends who will stay with me on life’s incredible journey. I will be published. I will be happy.

There. I have a future now. So, I’ll dust myself off, give up my one-girl pity party, and take back my life. I will hold my children closer and tighter and longer because I should do that every day and not because I get a dire reading from a fortune teller. I won’t cheat on my husband because someone predicted it.  I’m stronger than that. And I will be published because I refuse to give up. And if I don’t become published? So what! I’ll write because it has always made me happy to create characters and situations. I’ll get back to writing for myself. I’ll get back to writing because I HAVE to, because I NEED to. Because I WANT to.

If you could know your future, would you want to? Do you believe that sometimes it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy? That if we believe in a certain future, it will come true? Whether it’s good or bad? And if there are people who can tell the future, is it our chance to change it? To make it what we want? Can the idea of fate sometimes be a copout? You tell me.

Although I’m not such a country fan, I will end this in the words of another country singer, Garth Brooks in “The Dance.”

“I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end. The way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”