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trust your own judgment
but ask questions, and listen to the answers
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)

"Your number is four, right now," the psychic says to me. I nod as if I know what she's talking about. I want this small, calm woman to continue speaking, but I'm not sure if she needs verbal feedback of my understanding.

She doesn't. "In four months, you will experience a shocking turnover in your life. An upheaval."

"Four months?" I scribble on my piece of paper, leaving out vowels in my haste to record this important statement. Having never excelled at taking notes in school, I forgot that merely writing 'upheaval' would probably trigger the memory. There was no need to write the whole statement down.

Staring at my hands, her own patiently crossed, waiting for my pen to stop flickering across the paper. "Four months. And in four years, you will no longer recognize your life as it is."

"What does that mean? I'm not sure I understand." I look at Ming's inscrutable expression. A slight shrug passes over a shoulder that has been rounded and softened by indeterminate age. She flips over another tarot card and gestures as if to say "of course". It's upside down, clearly at visual odds with the cards on either side of it.

"The number four operates in the realm of stability and familiarity. Patterned. Grounded. This card being upside down with your number as four means your current pattern and stability will be thrown into some kind of chaos."

I nod. "Chaos. Right." Shaking my head, I keep writing. I hear it, but I don't get it.

It took, I might as well tell you, the whole four years to 'Get It'.

Take Stock. What Do You Understand As Objective Truth?

Less than a month before I came to find myself in the tiny, bauble-filled office of a psychic I found out my husband was cheating on me. It wasn't as melodramatic as movies would have you believe, but it was plenty shocking. That Sunday morning I woke to sunshine with a smile, thinking my lovely spouse would be returning home in mere hours. I fed the cat, I fixed breakfast. I made the bed. I tidied the kitchen. Then I checked my email. The story, four years later, is short. She emailed me the details and the statement of his indiscretions. He denied them. There were tears.

If You Can't Be Objective, Find Someone Who Can.

At that time, I didn't know what to believe. I knew what I wanted to believe. That's why I went to the psychic with a question in my heart. Without my wedding ring on. Without speaking that question out loud. I asked for nothing more than for her to tell me what I needed to hear.

That's an incredible amount of trust to place in someone else, especially in a psychic who only charges $35 for a session. But I knew instinctively that I wouldn't be able to place this kind of trust in friends or family members. Being too close to a situation has major drawbacks, and loved ones always choose sides. Always.

Let Go of Needing To Be Right.

Needing to be Right is the worst possible frame of mind in which to make any decision. Most of the time a person doesn't realize their own base, natural desire in time to correct themselves before making a resolution irrevocable.

In this situation, I held a lot of fear. I was afraid of what would happen to me if I wasn't going to be married any more. Afraid of what I would be if I didn't have my home, my job, my marriage to define me. Afraid of my friends and family thinking I wasn't good enough to have someone be faithful. Afraid of not being worthy of someone being loyal to me. There was a lot of fear and insecurity rolling around in my brain, and I knew I wasn't capable of making a dispassionate decision.

I spent a lot of time letting go of Being Right. Just because you can touch on the truth in your mind doesn't mean you're willing to say it out loud or accept it.

Be Willing To Come Undone.

I'm not too proud to tell you that the past four years of "Upheaval" haven't been easy. It was almost revolutionary. I've been kicked out of a country (seriously, who else do you know has been kicked out of Canada?), taken a job as a flight attendant, gotten divorced, dated many amazing and some not-so-amazing men, visited 36 countries, accomplished some items on my Life List, lived in various random states and countries and - best of all - spent a LOT of time getting to know myself again.

Being resistant to that kind of change would have broken the fragile strength I had started to build in walking onto a plane in Seattle without tears in my eyes. I resolved to learn to take everything in stride, big things and small. I resolved to (try to) understand that sometimes I don't get to be in charge.

There were a lot of growing pains I didn't think I'd have to go through again at the advanced age of the Late Twenties. But there are truths I wouldn't have been exposed to had I not gone through them.

Who are you to say what you should learn and experience to make you You?

What You Think You Want May Not Be What You Need.

It was never proven without a doubt that my ex-husband was cheating on me. I'm not sure anything at the time could have convinced me fully, short of a time machine. Being that you can never know another human being as well as you know yourself, when trust is broken, what puts it back together? Was it more important to have an answer or to grow from the experience?

My final question to Ming before leaving was to explain the situation briefly and ask 'Who should I trust? Who is telling me the truth?'

Her answer? "Don't believe everything someone tells you."

It took me a very long time to realize that by 'Someone', she could have meant either party in question.

What took me even longer to realize was that the answer to my question wasn't important. It was the process by which I learned about myself in this situation and how I lived my life afterward that was important.

I was in Vancouver at the end of September, on one of my rare few days off in a row, when I realized it had been exactly four years since my enlightening visit with Ming. She predicted the catastrophe that broke apart my comfortable mold and would become the beginning of a new pattern. A new kind of stability. She was absolutely right that I wouldn't recognize my life in comparison to what it used to be.

Walking down a familiar street in the West End, I took a moment to appreciate just how remarkably and beautifully different my life is and to ruminate on how important the lessons were that I took from the turmoil.


Maigen is simple. is smart. is wholesome. is skeevy. is spicy. is delicate. is better. is purer. is 100% more awesome than yesterday. She';s traveling the world and writing about her experiences with life, love, yoga, food, travel and people. Mostly people. Because they';re funny. hear more of her random thoughts @maigen on twitter.

more about maigen thomas


eating, praying and loving
when you're not made of money
by maigen thomas
topic: general
published: 8.25.10

i don't know what's wrong with me
but i bet it's hard to pronounce
by maigen thomas
topic: general
published: 5.24.10


tracey kelley
10.26.11 @ 12:31p

I've always had weird and awesome experiences with tarot and horoscope readers. Psychics, too.

You should do it again!

alex b
11.6.11 @ 7:00p

If you ever come across an authentic psychic again, go for it. I'd be curious to know what your future may (or may not) bring.

And, as I recall, I met you at the beginning of your revolutionary upheaval. Some 3 years later, I'd say you're doing pretty darn-tootin' good with trusting your judgment.

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