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If a fortune teller says your 2023 is fucked

Thoughts on nihilism

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"I suggest you sell all of your investment holdings, don't go out, and pray to Jade Emperor (a Daoist deity) for forgiveness. Your 2022 was bad, but 2023 is gonna be WORSE," the silver-haired fortune teller stated to me plainly.

Ah, yes! Exactly what I wanted to hear at the start of the year!

Look, I imagined myself to be a reasonably educated person. I have resisted tarot cards, astrology, feng shui, Bloomberg economy forecasts, etc. So why am I sitting in front of a psychic now?

My decision sprang from anxiety about the future + a need for control.

At the start of January, I've taken on a challenge to write every day for 31 days. I've been excited about it. But by Jan 15th, my failure to fully adhere to my plan sent me into spiraling anxiety.

Fuck it. Fortune telling is cheaper than therapy. In a moment of weakness, I made an appointment.

The air in this big empty meeting room felt cooler than outside.

"...How bad is 2023?" I asked.

He closed his eyes, furrowed his brows, and began counting his fingers. "I see bankruptcy, ill health, possessed by evil spirits, possibly schizophrenia. Can't do much about it. Tis your fate."

Come on, at least sell me a solution. Aren't you supposed to make listeners feel better?

I don't know if this story is funny or sad. But here's a thought experiment:

Let's say the predictions are true. If you know you will suffer and fail miserably in the future, what would you do?

My first reaction was anger. WHY ME? The past has been difficult enough. Surprisingly, after a few minutes, I felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder. I could do anything and it wouldn't matter!

Study accounting and become an accountant? I'm gonna fail.

Learn painting and become a painter? I'm gonna fail.

If I'm going to fail regardless, I might as well choose the thing that excites me.

What would you do?

Would you try to change the outcome?

Would you rest in idleness?

Would you smile while rolling the stone uphill?

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