Updated: Oct 19, 2019
We humans have a tendency to cling to what’s safe, what’s known. We fear uncertainty, to the detriment of our dreams and aspirations. It’s a product of millennia of evolution telling us that the unknown is dangerous, that vulnerability is weakness, that taking the gamble, the risk, the leap of faith, is foolish.
If we had money, we say, or more time, or a better support system, then we’d do it. Then we’d chase those dreams.
So we never chase them.
Last year, my partner and I decided to do something unlikely: quit our stable jobs, give away all our belongings that couldn’t fit in our tiny car, and move across the country from Pennsylvania to Oregon. We wanted to shift our life paths, to open the way to a truer existence for each of us. We knew deeply that this was the right choice, but we didn’t know how to make it happen.
We applied to jobs from afar. We tried to secure housing. We were met with block after block. We had moments of doubt. BIG ones. The stress piled up as we passed the renewal date for our lease in Pittsburgh. No one in Portland called us for interviews. No one wanted to rent to two people with no jobs. The odds were stacked against us, and for many more reasons than I’ll share here now. Moving cross-country seemed impossible–at least, impossible to do the traditional, “safe” way.
So we decided to just go.
No jobs lined up, no place to live.
Our family and friends, at least most of them, thought we were reckless, foolhardy, even stupid. But we understood that security can be a trap. Safety can be a leash. Stability is a good, necessary thing, but sometimes we have to risk uncertainty and step into the unknown in order to have any chance at changing our lives for the better.
Soon after we decided to just f*ckin do it, I received the image of this card and its description in my inbox. It’s from the forthcoming Supra Oracle Deck from Uusi, which I had funded on Kickstarter. My fears and doubts had been flaring up, and when I saw this card, it felt like a message. The description spoke of setting off on the path of improbability in spite of the fears of failure, the doubts of others, the real possibility–real probability–that it won’t work out in the end. It spoke of allowing all of this and doing it anyway. Of pointing your arrow at the very goddamn sun and letting it loose.
I printed the image and laminated it. We carried it in our travel altar–a small green box filled with meaningful objects and intentions that we made specifically for our road trip. It rode with us for three weeks and 2,344 miles from Pittsburgh, to New Orleans, to Santa Fe, to Denver, to Portland, and to so many places in-between.
We bet on ourselves.
We offered our intentions to the universe.
We stepped onto the road of improbability.
We were fucking terrified.
And we arrived.
We made it to Portland the day before the Great North American Solar Eclipse in August. Within a few days, we found an apartment that met all of our wants and needs, and a landlord willing to rent to two starry-eyed dreamers with no income. It took longer to find employment, but within five weeks, we both had jobs. Friends I hadn’t seen in one to two decades reappeared in my life in the most beautiful ways, and generous new friends stepped forward to welcome us. Doors opened, and opened, and opened, and are still opening. Six months later, my life is full to the brim with creative projects and collaborations, friends and community, and more opportunities than I can possibly say yes to. In the process, I’ve discovered so much about myself and my partner and uncovered new desires and truths, new passions and dreams. When we packed the last box in our car and drove west, for all my wild hopes and ambitious goals, I never dared to imagine my life could look like this.
Nathan Ji of Equinox Tattoo Collective, who agreed to take me as a walk-in, was born the very next day, in the same exact year, both of us turning 32. Can’t make this stuff up.) I chose to put this symbol on my body to commemorate and celebrate the grand journey of this past year and to remind myself that you always have to fight for what you believe in. You always have to trust yourself. And sometimes, you have to risk security to gain expansion. The improbable is only impossible if you never take the leap.
Taking that leap has led me here, to bringing my Tarot practice online, to creating spreads for anyone to use, and–hopefully soon–to stepping into a role as a Tarot teacher. Within the next month, I’ll be opening my books for limited in-person and distance readings (follow my IG for updates), and in the near future I’ll be announcing a new Tarot project I’m embarking on, the kind of thing I’d never thought I’d do, and that I’m so, so excited about.
Because I never want to forget to embrace the Improbable.
In Uusi’s description of the Improbability card, they mention how those of us who take the unlikely road can gently inspire others to do the same. I think it’s safe to assume that they’re speaking from experience, that launching their first deck however many years ago seemed a wild and improbable thing. And here they are, a successful and beloved studio of artists and creators. And here I am, still walking the improbable road, still discovering my authentic path, still creating my own life by my own design. I hope that sharing this part of my story can serve you, nudge you, inspire you to do the same, in whatever way that looks for you.
So what dreams have you set aside because they’re unlikely? What passions have been snuffed by security? Where can you open yourself to the uncertain, the unknown, and set forward into the vibrant possibilities right outside the safety of your known world?
Be scared. Have your doubts.
Do it anyway.
Tattoo artist: Hunmin Nathan Ji, Equinox Tattoo Collective, Gresham, OR.
Deck: Supra Oracle by Uusi.
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