Love those fortune cookies, part 30

fortune20cookieSo yeah, I didn’t realize it was so long since I cracked open a fortune cookie worth writing about. Last time was January, when I started my current job at my old place in New Haven.

And I ended up with two — plus a third fortune I forgot I had socked away in my purse.


Truth is I haven’t been in much of a writing mood in recent months. I’ve kinda lost my mojo. Been doing with a lot of fighting with myself these past seven months or so. Even though I’m gainfully employed again (for now), I feel as if the rubber band kinda snapped. All the years of stress from two gigantic life changes, all the hundreds of resumes without the decency of a response, having to settle for a job in a different realm albeit still in the journalistic sphere, have made me realize that, well, maybe I’m not much of a writer, that I’ve been deluding myself all this time.

Also, no one was reading the blog anymore, so why write a book that no one will read, either? That would be the final blow.

That’s what’s been coursing through my mind these past few months. As, for extra measure, I also ate myself way the hell out of shape. It hasn’t quite been depression eating, as it wasn’t a long dark hole like the ones in which I dwelt in in my pre-hormonal days, but it definitely was some serious self-medication. Maybe a slow, subconscious suicide attempt, even.

And that’s what I’ve been fighting against. I’m not getting younger, and I really need to write this book before everything mists over. I’m fighting against all the doubts that were planted in my head all those years of searching for work in vain and looking for the trigger that will send me soaring into writing again, into believing in myself again. And I guess I really do want to stay around, because now that I have benefits, I’ve been taking care of things, one by one, that I was forced to neglect for the three years-plus I didn’t have insurance.

Well, yesterday afternoon, I had time to hang at my hangout Fourbucks in Orange before work, and to have an early breakfast/lunch before my shift started at 4. So I brought with me some takeout from Shanghai Gourmet across the Post Road (eggplant and chicken with garlic sauce, hot and sour soup and an eggroll, for the record).

The woman who co-owns the place gave me two cookies, as she often does. And I cracked them open after a good meal. And out came two bits of wisdom — vague enough to mean different things to different people, yet pointed enough to make me think there was something deeper going on.

The first fortune:

Moderate your appetite so that with a little you may be content.

Moderation. A word I hadn’t heard — or exercised — in a long time. And I’ll have to use it a little more, and in a hurry. Last night, I found out that my 35th high school reunion, which I thought would be held the weekend of Thanksgiving, is now slated for just over a month away. I won’t be svelte or anything, but damn it all, I’m not gonna look like my 60th month of pregnancy. Time to get in gear. Deadline pressure is always a great motivator.

Then there was the second fortune:

Money will come to you when you are doing the right thing.

At the moment, I’m not doing the right thing, but rather, the right-now thing. The thing that is at least, for now, giving me some financial stability, whatever the hell that means. But not the thing I need to be doing. so I’m reading it to mean, “Shut up, write the goddamn book already and the money will come to you.” I’ve been trying to convince myself of that for a while now. I just need to make the time somehow.

And as I was placing the two fortunes in my bag for safekeeping, I saw a wrinkled, folded, battered strip of fortune from a long-forgotten meal. I’d forgotten about this one. It read:

Someone you care about seeks reconciliation.

This one I highly doubt. In the two years I’ve been home, I’ve gotten to see some of the best and worst of people. There are many people who have stayed by me through all the ups and downs, and being with them again has been wonderful. On the other, there are the people who said, “Come home, Frannie, we miss you!” and then disappeared. That put a blade through me.

And some people have just been plain shitty and have let me know in ways I wasn’t expecting.

The pain has dulled, but yeah, it lingers and surfaces occasionally. But the people who have been good to me, I care about deeply, and I feel blessed by the love we share. The ones who have been shitty with me — well, maybe I used to care, but I’ve stopped.

Reconciliation means an element of forgiveness, and forgiveness has always been one of my shortcomings. I think, really, it has to do with not wanting to be taken for an idiot, a fool, a sucker, a sap. And at this point, I can’t imagine anyone who discarded me wanting to be back in my life, nor can I imagine ever wanting them back.

Besides, that fortune is old now. If this situation were to have presented itself, it would have months ago.

I guess two out of three is a pretty damn good batting average.


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