While I was straightening up my office this summer, I came across a collection of little strips of paper inscribed with blue font. (Why always blue font, I wonder?) Indications of my fondness for Eastern cuisine, these were the offspring of numerous after-meal fortune cookies that I have eaten over the past four years.
It’s not that I have kept every fortune from every cookie I have ingested over a four-year period. I have been more selective than that, only tucking the little paper rectangles into my wallet if the inscription seemed to correlate with some aspect of my process at the time.
When I kept the first one that started it all, I hadn’t set out to collect these fortunes. I didn’t have a plan. It was just coincidence. It all began in Fort Collins, Colorado, when I went there to visit an old friend with the intention of coming out to him.
As we were having dinner at my friend’s favorite Chinese restaurant the first night I was in town, I was going over in my mind the words that I would use the next day to tell him about my true self. I was also mentally preparing for a subsequent visit in Denver where I planned to come out to another old friend.
And at the end of the meal, with all this mental preparation swirling around in my head, nervous about revealing my true nature to people who were close to me, worrying that I could be losing these friends with my upcoming disclosures, I cracked open one of the cookies that the waiter had brought with the check and found the following fortune:
Tomorrow will be an important day for you.
I almost laughed out loud.
I stashed the little fortune in my wallet and have been collecting them ever since. Unfortunately, I only wrote the dates on a few of them to remind me what was happening in my life at the time I kept them, but you can probably match the cookie fortunes with important parts of a good old fashioned transition:
Be calm when confronting an emergency crisis.
Confidence is at a high.
Don’t wait for your ship to come in; swim out to it.
It’s time to get moving. Your spirits will lift accordingly.
One joy will scatter a hundred sorrows.
You are headed in the right direction. Trust your instincts.
Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
To see your drama clearly is to be liberated from it.
Think highly of yourself, for the world takes you at your own estimate.
If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.
Your charm today will be almost irresistible, so use it wisely.
Your gifts are showing, use them to help others.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
(Okay, that last one wasn’t a fortune, but I thought it was important enough to add to the list.)