Reflections on healing trauma, writing, and books by Tokyo-based memoirist
 
Tarot, Chess, and Transition

Tarot, Chess, and Transition

For the past couple of months, I’ve been practicing Tarot (Consulting? Using? What’s the right verb for this?). I never did anything with Tarot before, so I got a few books, and I’ve been watching a youtube channel called Practical Mystic Carol.

There are thousands of resources online, but I like Carol. She has a daily four card spread that I find to be perfect for learning. It’s enough cards where I can study how the cards interact, but not so many that I get overwhelmed.

I journal almost every spread I do, and I noticed that the Knight of Swords came out 10 out of 50 spreads (I’d done 50 spreads total at that point). I emailed Carol about it, and after she gave me her interpretation of the 10 spreads (most of the time in with the Knight of Swords in the same position), the Knight of Swords stopped showing up.

It’s as if the message got through, so the spreads changed.

From the very beginning, my spreads repeated themselves or were very similar to one another. I thought there was something wrong with my deck because I shuffle really thoroughly, but when I change my question, the spread changes.

Anyway, I often experience a type of anxiety that leaves me frozen with indecision and the cards help with that. They don’t give me concrete advice, but they give me a new perspective or reassurance and that leads me in a direction. It’s comforting, as if my subconscious is coming forward with what I really want or need.

In other news, things have changed here. I might’ve mentioned in a past entry or two that Adam had a start-up. Well, that start-up is no more, which means that the move to London might also be no more. We’re thinking it over.

I alternate between feeling fine about it and grieving the loss of the future I thought we were going to have.

It’s helpful that he’s not in a constant state of overwork, anymore, though. He’s gone back to playing more chess for now. It’s just a recreational thing, but he has a real talent for it. He probably could’ve been a chess master.

I’ve also taken up chess, but less seriously. He coaches me some, but I’m still not very good. He says I’m improving quickly. It’s just hard to feel like you’re doing well at something when you’re around someone whose skill level is on a different planet.

That happens in ballet, too, where sometimes I’m in class with really serious dancers, and I have to remind myself that this is my hobby, not my life. It’s ok to be bad at a hobby. Oh, I went back to dance a few weeks ago, after the weather finally cooled down some.

Anyway, right after I stopped going on FB, the first thing that I noticed was that I’d been using it to escape anxiety. It was somehow acting as a barrier between myself and my feelings—maybe because it provided me with a distraction whenever I wanted one.

For the first week or two, I mostly felt a compulsion to get back on social media. Why? It was just a habit, but once I broke that habit, all of my feelings became more immediate. That really wasn’t so great at first. I was going there to escape some really dire stuff, but my bad feelings came to the forefront and then they dissipated.

I became more interested in drawing, Tarot, and chess. I started sending queries to literary agents. The world actually seemed to go from black and white to color.

I’m not going to say that everyone should get off of social media. I don’t believe that. What I am going to say is that when I referred to my use of social media as an addiction in my last entry, I wasn’t being facetious.

I think an addiction is anything you use compulsively to escape your feelings. I didn’t use it in a normal healthy way, and honestly, I don’t know if I’m capable of using it in a normal healthy way.

What can I say? I get a little crazy sometimes, and by that, I don’t mean wild or entertaining. I often feel like I have the personality of an addict, except that I never had the fun of actually doing the drugs.

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