This weekend, I did something out of my norm and had my first-ever tarot card reading while at a friend's party. The decision wasn't without deliberation; I had originally declined the offer a few weeks earlier, because in my mind a tarot card reading fell in the same class of activities as a Ouija board. And, as I've learned from my upbringing, the Ouija board is a gateway to hell brought to you by Hasbro.
But as Claire's party came closer, I started thinking more about the idea. I was curious to know what I'd be told through my cards, reasoning that a reading did not involve summoning spirits from the underworld to haunt me forever.
The reader offered a "new year's themed" reading, with three cards representing last year, something to let go of now, and a peek of what's to come. I received the three of swords for my first card, which she interpreted to mean heartbreak or grief that I dealt with in the past year. She asked if this resonated with me. "To be honest, not really," I said. "2017 was a pretty good year for me."
Huzzah! A year that can be summed up as "pretty good" is a fairly new reality for me, and I'm into it. Looking back on my 2017 resolutions, I'll admit that some were ones I knew I'd accomplish; they were added to the list so that I'd be able to claim some success in my goal-setting. I'd also wanted to acknowledge the time-consuming commitments I'd already made for the new year, like training to run a half-marathon and planning a wedding.
Here's how I did on the resolutions that were more ambitious:
- Bake more: I baked twice, which I think may have been two times more than in 2016.
- Dance more: I went to Barbarella twice, which I think may have been two times more than in 2016. At-home dancing: daily.
- Freelance more, or not: I had one byline in 2017, thanks to Austin Monthly. It was the first time I got (paid) to write about a personal experience since I worked at the Sun newspaper, when I ran a monthly column called Discomfort Zone that afforded me experiences like completing a brake job on a truck, joining the local high school’s color guard team for a week, and being a farmhand for a day (a day that launched a long-term dream of mine, btw). Writing a firsthand account of receiving sound therapy in a stranger’s spare bedroom felt equally adventurous, which I'm grateful for. The rest of the year was spent wedding planning or recovering from wedding planning, and for the first time since graduating I don’t feel upset for not pursuing writing more fervently. It feels really good to not hate myself.
- Practice French: Unlike the same failed resolution of 2015, I actually made a concerted effort to get back into my Français. I audited a class at the Freestyle Language Center, where I felt strangely nostalgic through a lesson on the subjunctive. I was also surprisingly less nervous to attempt speaking a language that I hadn’t regularly used in over 10 years. Perhaps it’s because I had dropped in on the tail-end of a multi-week series and didn’t feel any expectations from the instructor, or because I knew I’d most likely never see the other students again. Or maybe it was just because I'm older and feel less self-conscious, in general? I am definitely open to taking more in-person classes, but for the rest of the year I opted for the more affordable route of Duolingo lessons. According to the app, I’m 30% fluent! C'est pas vrai.
The rest of my tarot reading felt nicely affirmative. I got the five of pentacles for my present card, which she interpreted to mean I could let go of feeling like I had to do everything on my own. I have a life partner now! And my future card, well, I'll let you know if she turns out to be right. Here's what I'm focusing on in 2018:
- Be able to do a headstand and / or side crow pose: Surprise! Six years ago I really hated yoga but wanted to be able to get into crow pose. Now yoga's my main form of exercise. And this year, I finally got that stupid pose down. CAW!
- Plan + go on our honeymoon: That's still a thing that needs to happen.
- Become a Haddon: As in legally change my name, get a joint bank account and start our dog collection.
- Continue practicing French: Je voudrais un croissant, s'il vous plaît. Tentative honeymoon plans include the French countryside, which would serve as a wonderful learning opportunity!
- Visit Big Bend + Terlingua: The last of my Texas bucket list.
- Make a difference: Leaving this open-ended, but I want to continue seeking ways in which I can offer my time, skills, empathy, etc. to make other people's lives better. I have ideas on how I can do this in 2018, but we'll see what actually plays out.