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.”

37 thoughts on “To See or Not to See the Future

  1. Yes, I would absolutely want to know the future. I’m a control freak, and I’ve often said that if I had a Magic 8 Ball that foretold future events, I would use it for such trivial questions as, “What time is the mailman coming today?”

    Why? It’s simple. I hate surprises. Even the good ones. I think it stems from childhood issues that I won’t delve into, but for me, knowing what to expect gives me a sense of security…and a false sense of control.

    I love your optimism, Kim. Never lose it!


    Well, I saw a psychic back in August. For the most part, I had a really good experience. But if you’ve never been to one, be prepared. It can mess with your mind a bit. My psychic told me when and how my grandmother would die. It came true. She told me a male relative would die. That just came true. She told me a female coworker would betray my trust at work. That came true.

    But she also told me some really amazing things. She said I would be published and get married in a couple years. She said I would get the dog I so long for.

    After I saw her, I found myself on edge – constantly looking and waiting and watching. There was a point I realized I wasn’t living my life anymore. That’s not good. I feel back on track now. And as for her saying I would never be poor – let’s all keep our fingers crossed! 😉

    1. Kerri,
      That’s just what I was talking about. Living on the edge, “constantly looking and waiting and watching…” That’s exactly what I would be most afraid of happening to me. I wouldn’t be DOING. There comes a time when we have to just pull ourselves up and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!!!

  3. Melissa,
    You crack me up! I actually wouldn’t mind knowing some of the trivial things– like the mailman’s arrival time. LOL. But, wouldn’t it freak you out to know of bad news? But then again, someone like you would probably shape the future to your own purposes! I love that!
    Were you the kid who opened all the presents under the tree and then taped them back up? I have a funny feeling that you were. 🙂

  4. Also, my beautiful friend, you are an AMAZING writer! I love, love, love reading your stuff. I have no doubt that you will be published some day because I think the world needs to read your writing. Love you!

  5. I feel your pain, Kim, because I’ve lived it and am still living it. I compare myself to others and fall miserably short. Yeah, I have an agent, but I’ve never finaled in the Golden Heart…and I’ve tried. 🙂 I’ve revised my current MS more times than I care to admit. But I’m not giving up.
    There are no guarantees, even if you do go to a psychic. I choose to believe that the calling I’ve been given will be fulfilled. I can’t see how or when and don’t think I want to know.
    If someone had told me when I started writing for publication that four years later I wouldn’t have a book deal or any signs of one, I may have given up right then. 🙂
    So I choose to live every day believing that my dreams will come true. Even if I can’t see the future. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Lorie! I love that attitude. You’re right. If you had been given the news that you wouldn’t be published in four years, you might have quit. But, maybe FIVE years was the real time frame, and then you wouldn’t have stuck with it and saw it through. Let’s believe that five years is the magic number. And what you said is so inspiring. “I choose to live every day believing that my dreams will come true.” I love that! Thanks for stopping by! And, I truly believe that both of our dreams will come true. If nothing else, we’ve made some amazing friends along the way. Thanks for that!

  6. Kim~

    Thought-provoking post. (And I feel your pain, sista.)

    My mom was the queen of pessimism. The glass was never half-full, but half-empty and don’t @#$% spill it! I like to believe I’m not that jaded, though not all Polly-Anna either. 🙂

    I think knowing the future would take the guesswork and therefore the fun out of life. As the fortune teller/seer said in the SCORPION KING, “I’ve seen the future.” To which the King replies, “We’ll make our own future.”


    1. Lynda,
      I love that quote!! I believe we should make our own future, and I plan on it being amazing.
      I’ve always believed I was an optimist until the last year. I think it’s because things always came fairly easy for me. I always got what I wanted. I never even had to work all that hard at it. But now? Now that the road to publication is bumpy, with tons of nasty construction? That’s hard.
      But, like I tell my kids all the time…nothing good comes without hard work. Or something equally soap-boxish.

  7. Also, any psychic worth her salt, or money (sorry, I always mix up expressions) will be the first to tell you that nothing is absolute. In the end, we have the power and control to change our destiny. If you go to someone and they are adamant about their future visions, run run run!

    1. Kerri,
      We should shape our own destiny. If we’re given a peek, is that enough? Don’t we always want more though? Just another look? Just another peek a few years down the line? I know some people go to a psychic for some type of closure or reassurance, but shouldn’t our friends and family be the ones for that? I know I depend on you to blow sunshine up my nether regions when the situation calls for it. LOL. That’s what friends are for! 🙂

  8. That has given me a lot to think about. I think I want to know some things about the future. As for going to a psychic, I think it can be fun. Of course, I tend to manipulate things I’m told in ways that suits me. Now thinking about the way we live and approach life. Recently, I lost my young nephew. In his short 24 years, he packed a lot of living, despite people always being on his case to be more cautious, responsible, etc. So after reading your post and thinking of my Jasen, I want to grab on to life and to ‘not sweat the small stuff’ (sorry for the cliche). And this will dwindle down in a few months, until someone or something else reminds me again. Hopefully I can be somewhere in the middle.
    Kim I think you have the right idea…you make your future what YOU want. How boring life would be if it was always smooth sailing…there would be no balance. Don’t you just hate it when someone is always bragging and/or whining about all their ‘successes’? BORING!!!!

  9. Kim,
    This post really resonated with me. As you know, my latest novel (the one I just finished -Yay!) deals with this topic. And I’ve concluded, I don’t want to know the future. Because knowing the future, positive or negative, would sap all of my hope. And hope is the ingredient that makes things happen in our lives.
    Great post, and I am so glad you have reaffirmed your dedication to writing.

    1. You’re right. We should “Forget Tomorrow.” 🙂 I’m of the exact same mind frame. If we know completely, or, in the case of your book, pieces of the future, how does that influence our actions? Do we change course? Do we backtrack? Do we believe some parts but not others? And do we, in the end, believe what we WANT to believe? That’s the question.

  10. Cathi,
    First let me say how sorry I am about your nephew. When you told me on the phone so that Cassie and I could be there for Kerri, my heart broke. At the same time, it put things in perspective. There we were together that Monday night bemoaning the fact that we hadn’t finaled in some stupid contest, when there were people in your family grieving over the loss of a beloved son, cousin, nephew, friend. It does give perspective. To use your cliche, we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. And all that kind of stuff is small in the long run.

    I agree that if life was all smooth sailing it would be boring. Water skiers would hate those smooth waters. They live for the wakes. For the waves. For the unexpected ones, most of all. That’s when they come back to the dock and say, “Wow! What a ride!” That’s when they feel like they’ve lived. And lived fully.

  11. Great post, Kim! I love your optimism. Hang on to it. It’ll ensure you meet your goal. You’re a great writer so I have no doubt you’ll be published. It’s just a matter of time and writing/editing and sticking with it. And who wants to be an overnight sensation, anyway? Nothing tastes as sweet as something you had to work long and hard for.

    1. Lea,
      Thanks. I’m not seeing this optimistic side to me that everyone else seems to be seeing. 🙂
      Who wants to be an overnight sensation?? Me! Me!! I do, I do!! LOL.
      But, I agree with you. Things taste sweeter after you’ve waited a bit. Sort of like candy in your stocking at Christmas.

  12. I have come to the conclusion that I would not like my future told . There will always be things that I would want to know like the fun adventures I will experience later in life, and OH, definitely test scores. I am the the one in my class that goes up to the teacher after a test and says can you grade mine first?!?!?! Because I can’t wait too long to know the outcomes of all my work. But what if I where to be told who I would marry in my later years of life? … Would that mean I would stay clear from any other men? I have heard some pretty spooky stories about fortune tellers. And telling the future is one of those subjects that I’m not sure whether to believe or not.
    P.S. oh and mom i think you really should hold your kids closer from now on 😀 hahahaha

    1. Megan,
      Just to be clear, you’re to stay away from all men until I tell you otherwise. 🙂
      Since I know your personality (from the womb), I know you’re the type not to wait around, but you’re also extremely nosy and impatient, so I’m not sure if you’d actually visit a psychic or not.
      And if I held any of you kids any tighter or closer, you’d be back inside my body. LOL. Thanks for commenting, first-born daughter of mine. (who is 11)

      1. I produced a real piece of work there. 🙂 She really, really wanted to comment, and then she wanted to know how she could go about becoming a mermaid. She wants to answer the questions on the website under each of our names and have her picture there, too. LOL.

    2. Yay – Megan is here! That was a very insightful comment. You definitely want to be surprised where boys are concerned – that’s part of the fun. 😉

      1. Jeez Louise, Kerri! Don’t encourage the girl! I already have headaches aplenty with the boy talk. But, don’t tell her this…I love those talks. And as she’s heading into her teen years–as if she’s racing there–it should prove to be useful since I write YA. Using my kids for research purposes…that’s got to be bad. Bad, bad, bad…

  13. Hey Kim,
    Gosh, thank you for writing this post. Just from reading everyone’s responses, you’ve really touched on an important part of us all that we don’t get to talk about much.

    I love the future you gave yourself near the end of your post.

    I once worked at a rehabilitation center and once a week I would read to an elderly lady who was a resident there during her therapy. She liked the paper. I finished an article and found the horoscope section and asked if she’d like me to read hers to her. She told me please not to and cautioned me not to read mine either because it was the devil’s work. While I don’t believe that, she did with every fiber of her being. And so I’ve never forgotten about that. But maybe it was just that she was trying to protect me from the very thing Kerri mentioned. Even if you hear good news about your future, you might start waiting for that good stuff to happen and forget the living part. It is something to think about.

    I decided I don’t need to know the future. Life takes care of itself and that includes me and everyone I care about. I’m cool with that.

    1. Carlene,
      That’s very interesting about that lady feeling like knowing the future is “the devil’s work.” There are many people who do believe that way. I don’t. I think people are blessed with certain gifts, but I also need to believe that they were also blessed with the ability to help others change the outcome. My grandmother had a premonition when she was a young girl. She knew less than an hour before the event happened that a little boy would drown at the nearby lake. He did. It pained her throughout her life because of the “what ifs.” I don’t believe that premonition was the “devil’s work”. But I do see how it can really mess someone up if they don’t know what to do to stop the event from happening.
      There are so many books written that have touched on this subject. For most people, the idea of time travel isn’t necessarily to see what happens in the future. It’s usually meant for a way to change the past. Almost every time. People have a vested interest in their future, but nine times out of ten, if someone could travel through time, they would go to the past. To change it in some way for the better.

  14. First off, good for you, Kim, for envisioning a wonderful future for yourself! Write that down and put it some place you’re sure to see it, to remind yourself what’s truly important.
    Second, shame on any psychic who gives her ‘clients’ bad news in their reading. Through my life I’ve known many people who are practicing (?) psychics and that’s rule #1. Not to say a reading should be all good news, but it’s irresponsible to send someone off worrying about something as changeable as the future. Plus it’s mean, and we don’t like mean ; )
    And finally, I actually did see a psychic a couple summers back primarily for fun but more because I needed *someone* to tell me if I was wasting my time trying to build a writing career. The nice lady said there was success in my future, but I needed to stick with it, and that I shouldn’t give up. (it’s a longer story, but that’s the gist). And then, as now, I sit and think, who’s to say this information is something she read in my cards or just sound advice for life? And my answer is always the same — what difference does it make? She’s right. Success comes to those who work hard and don’t give up. I needed to hear that. And the bottom line is the same. You *can* change the future. It’s not cast in stone. So back to what you’ve decided, Kim. See the future you want, love your family, and be happy.

    1. Jen,
      I truly think that is the key: separating fortune telling from “sound advice for life.” But, on the other hand, sometimes we need that validation from unbiased sources. Not our friends and family–who will always tell us how wonderful we are. 🙂 Maybe we all just need to hear that sound advice and keep plugging away until our dreams are achieved.
      Thanks so much for chiming in. 🙂

  15. Like Jen, I’ve wavered and gone to a psychic (or two or three) for a bit of guidance on the ol’ writing career when I’ve had a setback. I usually come away kicking myself because when it boils down to it, my destiny isn’t set in stone. The only thing I know for sure is that I won’t get published if I give up writing.

    Hugs to you, Kim!

    1. Vanessa,
      Hugs right back! And you’re so right. We definitely won’t get published if we give up. As I’ve read your works, I know you shouldn’t give up. You’re a wonderful writer who just has to find her books the right home. I’m sure that you will. Not speaking as a psychic…just a reader. 🙂

  16. Diana,
    Although it is tempting, I’ll steer clear. Life should be a mystery. It should be fun, exciting and SURPRISING. Anything could happen just around the corner. We just have to make ourselves get there.

  17. A wonderful post, Kimberly, because it reminds us that nothing worth having comes easy, or quickly! It’s a long hard road when the end isn’t guaranteed. A big part of making all this uncertainty worthwhile is having such supportive writing friends in the romance community.

    Thanks for the motivational pep talk! 🙂

    1. Gillian,
      Thanks for coming by! You’re right. The road does seem endlessly long when the end isn’t a guarantee. And I’m so, so glad for the supportive writing friends I have met! Thanks for being in that group!

  18. Keep dancing and the day will come. Next time you throw one of those parties, let me know. Chances are I will still be able to join you. Can I bring some cheese to go with that wine? 🙂

    1. I ended up leaving my pity party because the snacks sucked. Although I did eat an entire box of Pop ‘Ems today. It shouldn’t count because those donut holes are so teeny, tiny. LOL.
      But…if you’re willing to bring cheese and crackers, I might reconsider heading back to the party. Apparently it doesn’t take a lot to get me back. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Hi Kim,
    You have written a wonderful future for yourself. Print it out, tape it to your bathroom mirror, your monitor and your refrigerator….say it everyday. When we count our blessings, positive attitudes rise up and we feel better.

    You’re a writer! So, write. No matter what, you write.

    Now, I’ll go of a practice that You hand in there!


    1. Jean,
      Thanks! I think maybe I’ll add in some other things into my future. A winning lottery ticket. A six-book publishing deal. An around-the-world trip. You know? If I’m going to write my own future, I should go all out!
      You’re right! We’re writers. So we write. We shouldn’t complain…much.

  20. Great post Kim! I believe in fate and destiny up to a point, but I also believe in free will. I don’t think I would want to know my future because then I would either be so obsessed with that outcome I might miss other opportunities along the way or take it for granted that it is just going to happen.

    Writing for example. You are a fabulous writer and I have no doubt that you will one day be published. But, what if you need to experience all of the disappointment and rejections first to motivate you to refine your craft so you can achieve that outcome. It would be a shame for the world to miss out on something so wonderful because you were sitting back waiting for it to happen rather than meeting the challenge writing presents everyday, head on.

    1. Dana,
      I know exactly what you mean. I think if you “know” your future, you just end up obsessing about it, whether it’s good or bad.
      And I get what you mean about experiencing the disappointments, but how ’bout I’m just done with those and get on with all the good stuff? Is that too much to ask? Huh? Huh??? 🙂
      Thanks so much for commenting. You’re a very wise mermaid. 🙂

Comments are closed.