My collection of fortunes began a few years ago, without a lot of planning on my part. When I find a good one, I tuck it into a pocket or fold it into my wallet or drop it into my purse. The intent is always to take them home and create some amazing display so I can enjoy for all eternity. I forget about them though, without fail, and they disappear.
The obsession to ferret fortunes away is bizarre and fraught with strongly ambivalent emotions. I’m not sure why I care so much about these tiny scraps of paper. I don’t know of anyone else who does this, which is just more affirmation that I’m weird. But I can’t stop. The compulsion to save the strips is irresistible. When I toss one, I’m overwhelmed by guilt and sorrow. When I keep one I feel shame.
These are words of the wise! Written especially for me from the powers that be! I can’t get rid of them…
But I’m collecting trash.
It all becomes clear when I rediscover a fortune. Without fail, I find the little phrases when I least expect them. I’m desperately digging through my purse for a pen and “You and your spouse will find happiness” is curled up at the bottom, waiting for me. I shove my fists into the pocket of an ill-used coat (it’s always warm in Mexas, but I refuse to get rid of the true winter gear) where “The greatest truths are the simplest, and so are the greatest men” wedges itself between my fingers.
Some of the best ones get retired to the refrigerator. “Everything originates from the seed of determination” greets me when I reach for the morning eggs. That’s a good way to start the day, right?
Maybe it’s my subconscious, making sure I stay fit and happy. It’s nice to think my brain cares about me enough to strategically place these gems throughout my life. Or maybe it’s just my joy of quotations, coupled with a nesting urge, and a dash of Asian love.
Whatever the reason, this ridiculous habit is comforting. It’s a quirky pick-me-up at unexpected times. It’s a quick reminder that “life is good.” Maybe it’s unnecessary, but I don’t care. It’s a simple delight that makes me happy. And that’s all that matters.
Huzzah for little pieces of trash.