April 15, 2014

The Anti-Oracle

If I could have just one superpower, it would be the power to see into the future. (Actually, that's not quite true. If I could have just one superpower it would be the ability to sing really well, because I have these recurring fantasies about singing in front of a room full of people and breaking their hearts with the beauty of my song. But given my woeful singing voice, the power to see into the future is actually far more plausible.)

As an anxious person, I like to have certainty. I do not like the endless cliffhangers that come with everyday life. I like to know, roughly, how things are going to turn out. Whether that job is going to come through. How that problem will be resolved. What decision that person is going to make. Whether everything will work out okay in the end.

Artist's Impression Of Me As The Oracle

And so because I like certainty, I create the answers where there are none. Anxiety loves a vacuum (meaning, 'a space devoid of matter', not 'a vacuum cleaner' - ain't nobody got time for those) and so my mind will rush in, writing the end to the story when the story hasn't actually finished yet. I compose entire scenarios in my own head that are as real to me as anything that has taken place in real life.

The problem is, they are nearly always wrong.

I am the Anti-Oracle. I am the Soothless-Sayer. I am forever deciding what will come to pass, and am forever being stunned when it doesn't happen.

In all of my forty-five years, I have virtually never accurately predicted the future. (Okay, so that's not completely accurate; I totally saw the whole Gwyneth-Chris split coming, but I am far less clairvoyant in my personal life.) I predict disaster when a happy outcome is around the corner. I predict good fortune just before everything goes to shit.

But that's okay, because I am constantly surprised. Life never follows the script in my head, and - as challenging as that may be for an anxious person like me - it does tend to keep things exciting.

I think a quote from Pretty Woman just about sums it up (and let me tell you, I never expected to quote from that particular film so I really am walking the talk right here):

Edward: It's just that, uh, very few people surprise me.
Vivian: Yeah, well, you're lucky. Most of 'em shock the hell outta me.

What about you? Are you good at predicting the future?

14 comments:

  1. I'm pretty good at living my life from day to day - I'm not shy in broadcasting my aspirations, but I prefer to worry about what I need to do today, not next week or month or year... I still get surprised by life, because I'm not expecting anything to happen at a particular time or moment... so I still get those moments of excitement that make life so special! :)

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  2. I do this a lot! Except I always think about the worse case scenario. If I think it, it won't happen. That's my theory!

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  3. Bernadette RichardsApril 15, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    But do we really want to know what is hiding around the corner? The only certainty is that whenever I imagine I am in control and know what the future holds, it is like inviting the gods of randomness in. It would be easy to say the complete oppostive happens but no, some other wierdness invariably takes over. The better option? Hold on tight and enjoy the ride. The only thing I know about the future is that I will be completely wrong about what it holds.

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  4. I'm absolutely crap about predicting the future Kerri. Earlier I had some news that I didn't see coming and it wasn't nice. In fact it has made me feel more anxious about stuff I shouldn't feel anxious about. Oh well, you live and learn...eventually. Or maybe you don't. I think there's probably no right or wrong answer here.

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  5. Yolanda Isabel Regueira MarinApril 16, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Is anyone ever able to tell the future? We plan and scheme but in the end it is left in the laps of the Gods. Do we really want to know if something unpleasant is going to happen? It would just cause more anxiety.

    Kerri I would like to share a poem which I have just written about anxiety. I think you ma relate.

    Battling the Enemy

    A heavy heart,

    So full of woe,

    Emotions brimming,

    An overflow.

    Black cloud envelops,

    Desolate and blue,

    Breathing is laboured,

    Heart pounds on cue.

    Head full of thoughts,

    Fighting for space,

    Jumbled emotions,

    Mind can't erase.

    Lie in the dark,Everything bleak,

    Don't want to see,

    Failure to speak.Sleep is elusive,

    Pacing all night,

    Try to make sense,

    Nothing seems right.

    Feeling of panic,

    Hold back a tear,

    Try to stay calm,

    Nothing to fear.

    Anxiety takes over,

    There is no control,

    An enemy to battle,

    For life to be whole.

    - Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin -

    © 2014 All Rights Reserved Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin

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  6. You do not want to look to me for any type of predictions! In the past I have predicted that the TV show M*A*S*H would be a total failure and that nobody would want to see a musical (of all things) based on such a depressing novel as Les Miserables!

    See what I mean?

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  7. That's truly beautiful, Yolanda. Thanks so much for sharing with me x

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  8. I think you're right. I have had that exact experience myself. I think life will constantly surprise us, hopefully in good ways as well as bad x

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  9. That is absolutely correct and brilliant advice. Thanks B x

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  10. I know, me too. Magical thinking. Sigh.... x

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  11. You're just a little fucking ray of sunshine, JJ.... xxxxxxx

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  12. Yolanda Isabel Regueira MarinApril 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    You're welcome Kerri, I find humour and inspiration in your words. I try to do the same for the followers of my blog. I have been meaning to get out to the Australian Writer's Centre and attend one of your talks. I am sure there would be interesting.

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  13. I used to be such a planner and got devastated when things don't go my way as per 'the plan'.

    Yet, things that happened in the last 2-3 years has made me realize that life's truly a journey .
    Now I'm constantly reminding myself to enjoy the ebbs and flow.

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