a fictional fortune telling machine: how my journey to wellness began
“He loves you all he can, but he cannot love you very much”.
These words, spoken by a demon possessed fortune telling machine from a fictional amusement park, in Ohio, with its own share of secrets, have sat with me for years.
Offer me grace and patience as I backtrack. I’m new here.
I have an obsession with Jennifer Crusie books. Her personal brand of sweet, witty, truth filled romantic comedy have kept me entertained for years. Then, when she began to collaborate with science fiction and thriller author Bob Mayer, I was even more sold. She and Mayer wrote a book called Wild Ride, that I’ve read over and over, till the pages ripped, then downloaded the KoboBooks version on my phone.
I love that book.
I was not expecting that book to lead me on a journey about my life’s purpose, though.
In the book, Mary Alice Brannigan, former resident of a small town in Ohio, returns home as an artist to repair the dilapidated Dreamland Amusement Park. In her return home, though, she encounters a number of experiences that would be deemed…odd, including meeting a reporter turned demon hunter who pursues her, even though she is perpetually dressed in baggy artist clothing and exudes no ‘pick me’ vibes.
Stick with me for a second. It’ll all make sense, I promise.
Mary Alice (Mab for short) finds herself falling for Joe, the reporter turned demon hunter that she meets. To recap, she ends up trusting Joe fully, mainly because she naturally doesn’t trust people. There’s an old saying that “when you trust no one, you end up trusting the wrong people”. Such is the case with Mab. She starts off strong at first, for the record. Her guard is up, and understandably so, saying at one point to Joe, “Well, it’s unlikely…I have no charm. I’m no beauty. I dress like a tramp and not the slutty kind. What would draw you?” Joe wears her down because, to his credit, he is genuinely enamored by her personality.
The thing that you learn about Mab, from flashback scenes from her childhood, is that she learned to keep her emotions in, because it used to upset her mother when she was emotional. As a result, growing up she held everything in, internalizing a lot of what she was feeling in order to keep others around her happy, never actually letting anyone in. So here comes Joe, who does nothing but listen to her. He wants to hear about her. And since emotions are something Mab has always suppressed, even though all she wants is for someone to hear her, Joe easily breaks down these walls, because he listens to her. And Mab falls head over heels for him.
Never mind that she’s also acutely aware that he never ever talks about himself.
Never mind that she watches him flirt with the bar maid on their first date.
Never mind, even as she internally realizes that this is moving way too quickly and that something is definitely off about this entire scenario, that she sleeps with him anyway. Which is her prerogative, of course, but doesn’t negate the fact that something is off with Joe.
As she is repairing the Fortune Telling machine in one of the areas of the park, Joe comes to pick her up for a late lunch. She’s all smiles, naturally, because she’s in loveeeee. And as she gets ready to leave, the Fortune Telling machine starts spitting cards of warning at her, the most important one being, “He loves you all he can, but he cannot love you very much”. In that moment, her heart stops short. She looks at Joe. She begins to replay her own initial misgivings.
She still leaves with him, though. He loves her. He has to.
She is ultimately heartbroken, of course, when she finds out that Joe is a demon. Literally. A demon that feeds on happiness and is currently possessing the town drunk. And as she beats herself up about this whole scenario in the book, I remember pausing and putting the book down. Why did this feeling feel so familiar to me? How did I become so invested in what happens to Mab?
Believe it or not, it was this book that began my self-love journey. Reading about Mab got me to thinking about myself. How often have I wound up trusting the wrong people, because I was busy trusting no one? What is love to me? How is love supposed to look? Feel? Act? And if I don’t know how it looks for me, how can I then love someone else? What if love looks differently for them, than it looks for me? The rabbit hole that this thought process led me down, brought me to the mentors, to therapists, to years of inner work that has continually worked in my favor to help me heal this part of me. It also threw to the forefront that I have gifts that can be used to help others. In turn, I am sharing some of the things I have learned, am learning, with you.
This is part of wellness.
Though it was my exploration of love’s ups and downs that started me down my own wellness rabbit hole — wellness is going to encompass a number of things, not just love. We are going to talk about them all here, in a safe, judgment free space. In fact, wellness should encompass a bunch of different things, because we are all different.
What we need to heal…looks different to all of us.
Of course, there are some standard things that it should have, like how you love yourself. Why? Self-love is at the root of pretty much everything wellness related. It’s easy to skip parts of the journey and focus on the outer aspects, because that’s what everyone else sees, and ignore the parts of the journey that focuses on the inner aspects, because in many ways, the inner work is harder. It’s ok. I completely understand. We’re going to take the time to talk about that, too.
I am not an expert. I will never claim to be. I am a half Trinidadian, half Bajan woman, from Brooklyn, a queen living in Queens. I am a professional chef. I am a single mom. I am a creator who also happens to have spiritual gifts. Who’s always had spiritual gifts, if we’re being honest. I do, however, follow instructions. I started this blog for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is, I was directed to by my higher power. As you will learn on the subsequent journey that you will witness here, I don’t argue with my higher power. My spiritual court sees all, knows way more than I do, and will direct me to who can help me attain the knowledge that I don’t have. They give me the messages (you’ll hear me call them downloads in the future). I pass them on to you.
With that said…my spiritual court has led me on a journey these past four years, and they (as well as others) have instructed me to create an open space for me to share with others not just what I’ve learned, but also to create a community filled with tips, tools, and resources outside of myself for you to begin your own wellness journey for you.
Be mindful that everyone’s journey looks different, and everyone’s journey doesn’t happen at the same speed as the next person. I am a living testament to this. It took me over 25 years to acknowledge something I’ve known since I was nine years old, and another five plus years to actually put the work in towards cultivating it. Have grace with yourself, and with others, on the journey. Others journey will end at certain points. Some people’s journeys may surpass your own. As long as you are moving in your purpose, and for your highest good and destiny, this is what matters. I am simply here to offer tidbits of guidance, knowledge, perspective, and, most importantly, resources, to help you on your own wellness journey.
In the coming weeks, you will read more about my journey here, how I got to this point. You will also have an opportunity to begin or continue your own journey, whatever that journey looks like for you. And if you’re wondering what happens to Mab in the end, she does get her happily ever after, though it looks nothing like what she ever expected it to. I’m getting my happily ever after, too. Learning, truly being comfortable in my skin, and following in my purpose — it’s as happy as it can get for me.
Here’s to your happily ever after. Welcome to the journey.