Fortunes and Prayers

I’m often pretty careful talking (or not talking) about religion. I was raised as a Methodist, but even as a preteen I was questioning my faith. I fell out of faith, then briefly it kindled up again around the time I was 16, then flickered out once more. I just cannot reconcile all the egregious details associated with most religions. How much of the Bible do you want to take as strict doctrine? Almost none of it? Literally all of it (pretty sure no one does that, there are some really harsh punishments described in Leviticus for some things we don’t find as death-worthy “crimes”)? How do you, with a straight face, inform the followers of, say, Wiccan faith or Shinto or whatever that they are doomed to an eternity of suffering because they grew up in the “wrong” place and were exposed to the “wrong” ideas? If you start throwing out a lot of those ideas, how much does it really resemble Christianity anymore? What was Christianity even LIKE in 300 C.E.?

Ahem, anyway… ultimately I decided that there were, indeed, many strange phenomena that I could not explain, nor could science adequately describe, nor could any (current) world religion, nor any philosophy. This is why I’m agnostic: I do believe in things beyond our comprehension that may, possibly, be divine (or are so completely beyond our current technology and understanding that it may as well be divine). Despite my belief, I also realize that neither I nor anyone else understands all the elements of existence, so it would be fallacious (and full of hubris) to make any assumptions of the powers that may or may not be.

With that in mind, I sent up a thought-prayer about a week ago, one of the little leftover artifacts of my Christian upbringing I guess. I liken it to sending my thoughts and desires into the Universe, and if the powers that may or may not be see fit, might just grant my request or take it under consideration. My thought was this: “Hey, if you’re listening, I am so very tired of being alone, and I feel like I’m ready for a relationship. If you would like to help me out at all or give me a hint, I’d appreciate it. Actually, nevermind, no rush really.”

So… there’s the ongoing work dialogue with my assistant manager, of course, but it seems like in the past few days women have been looking at me differently. I’ve always seemed to hold some allure for ladies on the plus side; don’t ask me why, it’s just a thing. Beauty comes in all sizes, so I never had an issue with it, more of a curious observation. Recently though, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that a girl working in the Kroger deli likes me, and when I got lunch from a little restaurant at the outlet mall today, one of the greeter girls (the place was a sit-down restaurant, y’know, the type that has some cute young people – mostly girls – dressed in black who meet you at the door and seat you at a table) practically pushed one of the other ones out of the way to talk to me about the items on the menu, like they were both vying for my attention. A more suave guy probably would have flirted more and gotten her phone number, but I was on good behavior, largely because their boss kept hovering around nearby. You still think I’m imagining things? One of them came and brought me a complimentary drink – yes, no charge – while I was waiting for my food. That just can’t be store policy. Hopefully the next time I see her, her boss won’t be around looking constantly impatient.

The logical step to take here would be that I am starting to feel more confident because I have some income, the growing possibility that I could move out if I had roommates, and I suppose a change in wardrobe due to work and more experience talking to the public – especially women – every week. I suppose I could also be misinterpreting the social interactions around me and imagining this flirtatious attention, but I think that’s just my negative self image trying to convince me I couldn’t possibly be attracting the attention of young, beautiful women. The change could all be in my head, my body language, my appearance, etc., or… the little possibility that the Universe heard my prayer and said, “Oh, okay! No takebacksies.”

So, what am I afraid of? That I’ll waste both of our time when she rejects me for currently living with my parents? That she won’t be initially interested and I might have a moment of being embarrassed, potentially in public? No, perhaps what I’m really afraid of is… success. Change, even change for the infinitely better, is still scary. I think I’ve gotten downright comfortable in this rut I’m in, but the means of climbing out is within my grasp if only I would stretch out my hand and take it.

What am I afraid of?

In my lunch, there were two fortune cookies (the place has an odd blend of Asian and Mexican cuisine). The first one read, “A thrilling time is in store for you.” The second said, “This is a time for love and affection.” I’ve never been so inspired by fortune cookie messages before, and I can’t shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe, the Universe might grant my prayer.

A prayer is thought,
and like the banks of the Nile
a fertile flood comes.

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