He was completely earnest as he said it.
"The astrologer, the psychic AND the tarot card reader all said I was going to be successful..." He paused slightly after the words were out, maybe imagining in that moment that his cafe mate might be slightly suspicious.
"There are conditions, of course, but I know it's true, I can feel it. I don't know how I'm going to make money but..."
It took everything I had not to get out of my seat and acknowledge my eavesdropping, give the guy a big gold star. Man, from the sounds of it, from hearing about all the various soothsayers he visited to offer him a bit of hope, he was really, really trying.
I sympathized. It's what we all want, right? To be successful? Not that there is necessarily a definition, but fame and money seem to be leading indicators.
A friend recently wrote on her own blog about her efforts to settle in to her life instead of always feeling that constant need to strive higher, beyond what she has. I commended her for her efforts. It is so hard.
When I got home from the cafe, where I'd resisted copping to overhearing this stranger's hopes and dreams, I opened a fortune cookie left over from the night before's delivery, unable to resist the bit of free hopefulness despite not wanting the cookie. I was not disappointed. As often happens, its message resonated strongly.
"The road to success is always under construction," it said. I laughed. So true. I think that often about completing a project, about the day after completing a project. On to the next thing, that's life. The key is to enjoy the process, enjoy your path.
Something about the day, about the efforts of this man, his waiting patiently for others' words to ring true, about the fortune, about my own efforts or lack thereof, caused me to rearrange my bedroom. Sometimes I resist change even when I'm not satisfied with what I see around me, but, then, I realized, constructing the life we hope for is what we have to do, every day, in little ways, we have to make of it what we want. It's all we can do, right? It is only us who can make positive prophecies come true. If we want something badly enough, we have to build it.