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The "Wu Word" Blog

November 2015

The Weight of Guilt

Tears filled my mother’s eyes yet again.  Single crystal clear teardrops trickled down her face.
No doubt and no second-guessing—yes, her tears were real.  Each teardrop that fell held anguish, pain, sadness, and the heavy and pounding weight of her guilt. However, her tears were also attention-seeking and bordered on crocodile tears of, “Look at me.  Focus on me.  This is all about me.  Forget about you and that this day was supposed to be happy, carefree, and simple.  Forget about you and your sister who were trying to bond and befriend.  Forget about this delicious meal that your sister and you were to have in calm serenity.  Remember me and remember my past and the guilt that continues to haunt and live like a bad dream series in my head and will now continue on and affect you from me making this about me and no one else.”    
Yesterday was supposed to be a day for my half-sister and me to bond.  More than a couple weeks ago, she had contacted me that she wanted to spend some time with me alone.  I was more than happy and excited to forge forward in sisterly bonding time.  I carefully chose a French-Moroccan restaurant that I was certain my half-sister would enjoy since she was a lover of French food.  While it was clear that my mother was excited about my half-sister and me making attempts to grow closer, she also felt left out and hurt that I was more eager and willing to spend time with my half-sister than my very own mother. 
This is when our mother had to infringe upon any potential sisterly only time by insisting that she would drive my half-sister up rather than my half-sister taking the train as she originally intended.  The warning bells went off in my head and the invisible wall that I utilize every now and then immediately came out as my protective mechanism. Though our mother insisted she would not have dinner with us by words, her words mismatched her actions when she ended up joining my half-sister and me for dinner.  A delicious dinner intended for sisterly fun times of chatter and laughter was quickly destroyed when it manifested into a nightmare of my mother crying and carrying on in intricate details of her past mistakes involving my father, my older sister, and me.  Bottom lines: It became all about her and her past.  It became all about the weight of her guilt that was hot and live wired.     
Every time my mother sees me, she ends up crying and revisiting and reliving the past until the weight of her guilt is so visible to the point of trying to touch and hurt me and everyone else. More often than not, whenever a person starts crying, I always ended up crying as well.  The tears that fill the eyes and fall down the face of the other person stings the corners of my very own eyes until I feel like I am going to cry. However, this time that my mother was crying yet again, I was fed up, tired, annoyed, and drained.    These were crocodile tears that fell down her face.  For me to pity her.  For me to try to alleviate the weight of her guilt.  Maybe I should have felt guilty for being so cold and stoic to her antics and drama, but I did not.  I was angry and starting to set the firm line of boundaries that could not be crossed from anyone or anything to make me feel guilty. 
In the depths of me, I knew I should have been kind rather than cruel.  That I should have felt empathy or at least sympathy. That my heart should have melted.  That my features should have softened.  That my hands should have reached out in solace and comfort. But these ‘shoulds’ were not ‘coulds’ or ‘woulds.’   These would all be lies.  I no longer have the energy to lie anymore to myself or to others—especially to those that have hurt me so severely that I have created an invisible and protective wall for myself.  My heart was as cold as a smooth and unbreakable and crushing stone.  My arms were wrapped tightly and protectively around myself.  Hands were balled up into fists until nails dug into the flesh of my hands.  The voice in my head that hissed vehemently, “Here we go again.”
Her shrill voice was turning into white noise that I could somewhat shut out.  This torture of her rehashing the past yet again would soon be over with, I thought to myself.  She just can’t help it.  Nor can I help her.  Nor can I ever alleviate the weight of her guilt that is so intense and so severe that they are like tentacles to reach out and try to wrap, strangle, and hurt others.  Have you ever had anyone in your life that lives with such severe guilt to the point of affecting and even trying to make you feel guilty?  Have you ever felt the weight of guilt?  Where do you think guilt actually derives from?   
My mother says time and time again that God has forgiven her.  I have told her time and time again that I have forgiven her and that all I want to do is to be in the here and now with her—not think about or dwell on the past that is over with and not worry about the future that we have no idea what will happen.  My words fall on her deaf ears.  She is a victim of dwelling on the past and focusing so much on the future that she is missing out on now.  I never want to be this way.  What makes it worse is all of this time of NOT being able to live in the now has fed and made the weight of guilt even heavier and more debilitating than ever before until she has made herself a victim and for others to pity her. 
The white noise became her real voice when her final words were spoken directly at me: “Well, you know, you are a ‘tragedy.’” 
I sharply looked at her with an icy gaze that could potentially hurt and even kill.  I have been called many things in my life.  Complex.  Complicated.  Enigma.  Oxymoron. Indescribable.  I can tolerate people and their ‘ways’ fairly decently, but the two accusatory actions that I cannot and will not tolerate from others is their guilt trying to make me feel guilty and their pity of me as though I am a charitable case. 
I was never called a ‘tragedy’ before. 
I never even imagined such a word could cross someone’s (especially a parent) mind to vocally speak it aloud. 
As soon as the words came out from her mouth, I could now see regret swimming alongside remorse and guilt in her wet eyes.  She wanted to take it back.  But, she couldn’t.  She opened her mouth to try to explain when I cut in piercingly and said: “I am not a tragedy.  Everything that has happened in my life has not been a tragedy.  There is always good that comes out of bad and past circumstances.  Even you leaving.” 
There was nothing more to say.  There was nothing more than could be said.  An evening that was meant for warmth and happiness was turned cold and cruel.  An evening meant for going forward in the best of ways turned into the demons of the past in the worst of ways.  I see my mother and how I never want to be like her.  I never want to be a victim or pitiful case of my past and live in such crushing and pulverizing guilt that, I believe, stems from regrets and the vicious thoughts of what could have been and what I did wrong that I could not make right.  I never want to be so focused on the future that I miss out on the here and now with the person or people that I am with. 
The thing is that all I ask from my mother to try to ‘make it right’ is to live for now and to be with me right here and now.  I understand, though, that she just is not capable and probably never will be at that point of capability, which leaves me incredibly sad and bereft more so for her than for me.  I feel terribly sorry for her to live with such unbearable and grinding guilt.  I feel terribly sorry for her that she is aware of how much she has hurt others, but to feel like she cannot ever make it right in her mind that continues to dwell in the past without foreseeing the future.  I feel terrible for her that everyone has forgiven her, but she cannot forgive herself.   
The weight of guilt is so heavy.  The weight of my mother’s inability to forgive herself and move forward is the most cruel and crushing of all.  The weight of my forgiveness is feather-like freeing.  Anger is so crippling and draining that I just do not have any energy for and no longer wish to give the hurting party the satisfaction of my fury and wrath.    I will never forget;  I will forgive not for the person who hurt me, but for me to be free. 
What have you felt guilty about?  Do you think others make you feel guilty or that guilt stems from us?  Do you believe in ‘forgive and forget’? 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,
Mary :-) 


By My Side

I was 11-years-old and in a crowded junior high school when I first felt the need of someone (anyone) to be by my side.  My friends had walked ahead of me.  I was on crutches as the possible solution to the the steady deterioration of my left hip.  I was slow, clumsy, and fighting to find my friends and keep up with them.  The fight ended with me falling and sprawled face first.  It was only then the crowds stopped to check in on me.  Not before when I really needed them.  My friends rushed by my side.  I wanted to snap, “So, now you are here by my side?  Where were you when I really needed you?” 
For as long as I could remember, I was the one behind everyone else.  Lost in the crowds.  Straining my neck to try to find familiar backsides and faces.  Nearly no one waited for me.  I grew up as the smallest one in the sea of average height and the towering tall.  All hurried and rushed ahead at their own gusto speed only to turn their heads around every so often to spout out: “Where’s Mary?” 
There were those select few who did wait because they had the insight and intuition to know what it was like to be left behind and alone, resulting in patience and compassion to be by my side.  There were even the smaller few who reached out for my hand to hold and solidify that they would stay by my side no matter what.  These people were my life savers. 
I was always the smallest and shortest one.  Me with the small stature at not even hitting the 5 foot inches mark.  Me with the short legs that were not born or made for running or speed walking, but forced to struggle to catch up and fall into step with everyone.  All these diminutive parts of me were the outer façade to my inner aching and deteriorating joints that slowed me down to the point of needing crutches and then a wheelchair as needed in junior high school.  Gone were those days with the gift of my second kidney transplant and greatly thanks to heavy duty bipolar Prednisone.  In came the new days with a brand new hip replacement in the last two years. 
Even with the new titanium and ceramic materials in my body for the hip replacement that has me full of gratitude for the gift of movement, I am still coming to grips that I will still always be the one who falls behind in the literal and physical sense.   It has taken years of trying to keep up with everyone to recently now stop with the knowledge and application that I no longer should have to or need to even try to run to catch up to people to fall into their step.  I just need to go at my own steady and personal pace to see who will stop to check on me and fall into my own step and pace. 
I can now say that I appreciate my very own pace that makes me stop to slow down and appreciate, observe, and ingest all the magic and wonder all around me, but, most of all, my very own pace in life has opened my eyes to who has been and who is by my side.  Have you ever pushed the pause button on your life to see who is by your side in the literal and figurative sense?  Who is it that gives you their hand to hold on to, a shoulder to cry on, slows down their pace for the two of you to walk side by side and who is not in search of you but just to be with and right next to you?  
We spend our days rushing and hurrying so intently and intensely that we do not stop to slow down—not just for ourselves, but for the people all around us who need someone by their side.   Very rarely do people pause to take in everything and anyone who may need help and to lend out that helping hand.  Growing up and even now, I love when someone opens the palm of their hand for me to hold on to.  All those delicate palm lines for me to feel against the palm of my hand.  All the long and deft fingers to grasp on to and entwine in my hand in radiating warmth and comfort.  Their outreached hand said to me, “Mary, I got you.  You are not behind.  I am not ahead of you.  I am by your side.  We are in this together.  We got each other.” 
In this fast-paced world we live in, we forget that it is more important to be kind than to be right and that it is more empowering to be together than to be divided.  To those who waited for me and stayed by my side, their presence was the greatest present I could ever ask, for we were in this together.  To those who did not wait for me and walked many feet ahead, I wished for them to slow down and welcomed them anytime to walk at my pace to enjoy and savor all around.  

The truth of the matter is that everyone needs someone.  Life is not meant to be walked alone.  No person is an island. Yet, how many times have you fell behind, were lost in the crowds, or felt like an island without anyone there by your side?  How many more times did it take until someone (anyone) was by your side?   
Here is my hope for everyone to slow down just a little bit and stay by someone’s side and for you to have someone there right by your side. 
Keep smiling’ until we meet again,
Mary :-) 



I seriously had the week from hell.  It was my first work week at the new job transfer.  While I expected it to be the hardest and knew feeling lost, confused, and even stupid were inevitable, I still was not comforted by this factual knowledge.  I felt I was barely keeping my head above water and fighting off and with foreign aquatic critters in a vast open ocean. 
So, when Friday came along, I was so full of gratitude and relief.  Best of all, I was slated to meet my previous colleagues who I rather missed.  I had been looking forward to reuniting with as many of them as possible.  This was going to be the best and most needed relaxed and fun Friday ever. 
Well, detours actually ended up happening instead.
Rather than good times with my colleagues to play board games and gorge on food, I spent my past Friday lost for nearly two hours, ending the night de-stressing with take-out Chinese-American fried food and cracking fortune cookies to unveil wishful lucky messages.  The starting point was Westchester County.  The destination point was Rockland County.  Somewhere in between, I ended up lost in New Jersey with a long stretched highway ahead of me, massive trucks humming next to me, and a vast open sky above me.  Gripped with apprehension and mistrust of my GPS that led me astray, I tried to stay calm and confident that I would get back home.  And, I did.  I did not even know how I did it, but, somehow, I found my way back home. 
I’ve always been quite terrible with directions.  Prior to cell phone days, I had even more “getting lost adventures.”  There was the time I was lost in the blackest of nights in the middle of woods trying to find my way back to my parents’ home, only to muster up the innocent courage to get out of my car to knock on complete strangers’ doors to guide me back.  Back in 2008, I was lost in the streets of Paris when trying to find Montmarte in rebellion to my relatives for denying me my desire to roam around and explore on my own in Paris.  The worst, most favorite, and funniest where I can laugh at myself and freely enjoy everyone laughing with/at me was this: My experiences of getting lost in parking garages.    
Mapquest, GPS, Cell Phones, and Hopstop were my best friends, but, even with these tech tools in my hand handy, I was not the brightest bulb when it came to east, west, north, south.  In fact, my infamous lines that made everyone chortle aloud when I was challenged to give directions was me widdling down to landmarks along the way to the final destination and only to conclude rather defeated: “Well…ugh….in the end, I guess, uhm…just go straight…”
In just about all my lost ventures, I was alone armed only with determination and fierce faith that I would eventually find my way and figure it out.  How fortunate and full of a sigh of relief and weight lifted from shoulders that I always managed to return to my original destination, though I did not make it to my final intended destination.  Best of all, in the middle of point A to Point B, I lived to tell the exhilaration of the exploration. 
Truthfully, though, I hate getting and feeling lost.  I have always been the planner girl.  I made goals to achieve.  On a strict schedule.  Everything laid out of me. No surprises—they scared me.  I made a plan, stuck by it, stayed focused, and refused any backward glances of regrets.   I avoided any chances and changes that would steer me away for my goal and anything that could pose potential lost and off the beaten path distractions.  The road ahead would be long, but it would be my road and I would stay the course.  I followed my instructions and rules to reach my goal and destination, unappreciative at and forgetting the unforgiving and painful process that it would take to achieve and succeed my goal and destination.  This is typical of all of us: We are so caught up on the result, goal, and destination that we forget the learning and growing processes that are the most vital to us and our lives. 
Now, rather oddly and most necessarily, I’m slowly changing.  Suddenly, surprises are gifts.  Abruptly, exploring and discovering are my cravings that need to be filled.  Because, clearly, this is one of the ultimate truths of life:  Life never goes according to what we plan. 
Life has many meandering lines that veer at their own discretion, resulting in getting very lost.  What we foresee and plan out in our minds is not necessarily how they are meant to play out and be. We get so lost and full of confusion, doubts, questions, and these mistakes that must be made that we end up with mumbled and humbled statements of admitting with pure honesty: “I do not know.”  Not knowing is often an unsettling, frightening, and even a belittling feeling.   Not knowing is also the same as learning.  Such vulnerabilities lead to such immense possibilities and opportunities.  What vulnerable experiences have you had that you believed was your end, only to lead to such a greatness of beginnings? 
I think we are all tourists on this ride of life to enjoy and savor for a limited time only.  Along the tour, there are the many detours that unexpectedly intervene for us to not understand in the moment, but reflect in retrospect.  Vulnerabilities are vital to eventually figure out what we really want and what we do not want in life—and even when figuring out or thinking that we figure it out, nothing is set in stone. 
Life is full of detours and not a final destination.  Life does not have with a set of instructions or directions.  The hardest is going through the webbed, struggled, and strangled motions with faith and not facts that everything will work out not how you want to, but how it is meant to.  Rest assured, you will always find your way. 
So, what have you planned in your head that did not happen in your life?   So, what have been your detours that have cut into your intended destination?  How has your tourist of life been thus far? 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,



Unbeknownst to many, I was given two names upon my birth:
1)    My American name: Mary Hsiao-Ling Wu
2)    My Chinese name: Wu Hsiao-Ling
When I was a little girl, I remember asking: “How did you choose the name ‘Mary’ for me?” 
The story goes that my older sister named me because she was teetering on 7-years-old and had always wanted a sibling just like all her other peers who had at least one sibling.  My parents gave her the exciting responsibility of naming me.  So, I was born.  So, my American name was born by my sister, Chinese name by my parents, and surname by my father. 
When I was trying to learn to write my Chinese name (a task I still shamefully do not know), I asked my father: “What does ‘Hsiao-Ling’ mean?” 
He paused and explained slowly, “Well, the modified version means ‘Little Bell,’ but it has a little bit of a more involved meaning that is complicated to explain in English.”
I accepted my father’s explanation by proudly announcing to others what my Chinese name was and that it meant ‘Little Bill’ in representation of my high-pitched voice and small stature.  Now I was curious to find out what the “H” meant in my American name.  However, rather than ask what it was, I made it up myself.  I figured that everyone had chosen a name for me.  Why couldn’t I choose a name for myself?  The “H” must stand for something exotic and foreign like “Heidi” or “Helen.” So European and American as I believed I was rather than the reality that I had Chinese culture and roots. For years, I wrote and signed my name as “Mary Helen Wu.”  Using my imagination to create my middle name was mine alone in the midst of my parents and my sister who had chosen and given me names.  
It was years later that I learned that the “H” in my American name was actually my Chinese name: “Hsiao-Ling.”  It all made sense.  It all clicked.  My name was actually a combination of my Chinese-American (or ABC, American-Born Chinese) identification, though I failed to identify and play the part of my Chinese background and could only identify it by ‘looking’ Chinese.  I was proud of my “Mary Hsiao-Ling Wu” name.  My parents and sister did well.  And, as for me, the middle name “Helen” makes me grin and giggle when I am in retrospect mode. 
This is the history that lies behind my name, but what about others?  I wonder: What is in a name?
Truth be told, I am atrocious with remembering names.  I excel at recognizing faces and voices.  The warmth of a smile, the soul and degrees of lightness and darkness that lie behind the eyes, the contours and curves of the face and its features, and the sound qualities and intonations of the voice all ignite memories in my mind of a particular person and my time with them to say: “Yes, I know this person.” 
I will forget your name; I will never forget your face.  Especially how you look at me and your facial expressions in my presence and when we are together.  
As a result of my failure to recall names, I started to create at least one nickname for certain people who have come into my life. I mainly do this as a stamp of personalization to the particular person who has had (or still has) an impact on my life, validation to the memories and moments I had with the person, and confirmation that our paths crossed at some point—or, if we are lucky enough, paths that still intertwine in a happy medium of not too tight or too loose but just right.   Almost always just before I part ways with someone I just met, rather than “good-bye,” I will say or at least think: “I will have a nickname for you by the end of our time together.”
The first three nicknames I was ever given as a little girl were “Bao Be” (‘little treasure’ in Chinese), “Little Bell,” and “Wuburger.”  My mother called me “Bao Be.”  When I eventually understood that I was Chinese, I learned that “Little Bell” was the modified meaning to my Chinese name “Hsiao-Ling.” All that time, I thought that “Little Bell” was synonymous to my high-pitched voice and  rather pint-sized stature.  My sister gave me the nickname “WuBurger” because of my passion and love for food and eating.  Not to mention that I was roly poly after my second kidney transplant and did, somewhat, resemble a burger in shape and size. 
Over the years, I have been given an array of nicknames: Wuster, Wuzle, Wuzer, Mares, Mars Bars, Mary-la, Marila, Mare Bear, Wawa (means ‘doll’ in Chinese), Chunky Style (thanks paternal Grandpa!), Wusarski Wusterelli, Rush Hour Sister, Wu, Worchester, Marinator, Frog, Panda, Little Big Horn, Chipmunk Warrior, Wonder Wu, Sweetness, Little Buddy, Sunflower Transplant Soul Sister, LKS (Little Kidney Sis), and this list can go on and on and on.  And, I love how this list of nicknames can go on and on.  I love all these names, or nicknames.  I love that the people who touched my life have welcomed me in their life with a simple nickname that holds much more of a personal meaning to me and our connection and relations with each other.  
I’ve come to realize that a name is a title to identity, but not necessarily how we identify ourselves and the various roles that we come to play and create throughout life.  A name is what we are called, but not really who we are.  I had no choice in my name. None of us do.  And, yet, it is the very first piece that others clamor and question with the announcement of a baby to be born—after the piece of asking the gender of the baby.  I took what was given to me.  I made it mine.  I am still making it mine. 
Do you have nicknames?  How did you get your name?  If you could choose your name, what would be it be?  Do you think a name holds great weight in identity of how we create and see ourselves?   
Honestly, what is really in a name? 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,


The Fortune Teller

About four years ago, I was going through the mental tortures of whether or not to finally go through with my nearly 20-year delayed hip replacement surgery.  The doctors told me “no” and “wait out as long as you can, Mary” because of my chronological age, but my body was telling me “yes, we think it is time” because of my physical age.  I already knew from past procedures and experiences that it would not be the roughly 2 hour surgery that would affect me the most, but it would be the mental anguish anticipation before the surgery and the recovery and rehabilitation aftermath that would lead to life and self-transformations.  Was it just better to settle and stay with the pain I had known my entire life?  Or, did I just finally plunge in to a procedure that everyone claimed was a quality life saver and giver? 
I relied on my body to talk to me, but a vulnerable body is weakened even more by a mind that is already so powerful and goes into a raging and locker-shoving bully more often than not in decision-making mode. It did not help that I was already an over analyzer and thinker that eventually reached a point where I could not handle the mental bully and would just do whatever just to shut it up.  “Whatever” was, to me, the same as “rash decisions.”  Yes, I have been guilty of those.  Alas, I am my worst enemy.  Then again, aren’t we all? 
My father, of course, knows how my mind works.  Probably because his mind is somewhat the same, but on a much more advanced level that I can only wish to attain one day.  My entire family felt the intense ripple effects of my worries, concerns, thoughts, and cares with what I should do.  This is the thing about family and illnesses—you will hear the surface story, but you will never listen to the underlying stories that earthquake the entire family foundation—if there is even a foundation to begin with.  
My father stepped in with a request to see a fortune teller. 
Truth be told, I was surprised with his resolution response, but not overly surprised when he indicated the importance of seeing the fortune teller to predict the long-term outlook of my health and the short-term determination if it was, indeed, the right timing to undergo surgery number—well, truth be told, we had lost track at that point.   Timing is almost everything in life. 
The supposedly best fortune teller to foresee our entire family’s future was concluded to be in Taiwan.  Therefore, that summer that my stepmother headed to Taiwan for her annual vacation of dumpling popping, family reuniting, and fun exploring required the side trip of meeting this fortune teller. 
Upon the fortune teller’s request, my stepmother distributed out all our birth dates.   Upon my stepmother’s return, I eagerly expected tales of images that appeared in the foggy crystal ball, the cloaked and mysterious fortune teller with piercing eyes that could decipher the soul of my future and of me, and the conclusions from long and winding palm lines.  What would my future be?  Would I be a success in terms of society of marriage, children, and a job?  Most importantly, would I be healthy? 
Instead, my stepmother handed me a rustic red scroll filled with delicate and intricate Chinese characters written on it.  Here was this piece of paper that told me my future, and I could not even read it.  Translating for the fortune teller, she explained my future:   
By now, I was supposed to be married if I really wanted it (whatever that meant) or at least meet my soul mate; Did not happen.  The fortune teller also predicted that I would be married, but later in life; Question mark and shrug of shoulders to fortune teller.  By now, I would have enjoyed blissful and blessed years of good health after a successful hip replacement; Checkmate, fortune teller.  In my 40’s, I would have to deal with another major health issue or scare; On edge now, fortune teller.  After the 40’s, the fortune teller could not see any more years of my life.  This had and still has me wondering that maybe I am destined to be dead by the time I’m 50. 
I was distraught and upset.  In the days after, I examined the scroll carefully to try to understand the unreadable Chinese characters.  My innate over contemplative quality kicked in overdrive, leaving me with more wandering thoughts and questions than answers about my future.  Could I fight against what the fortune teller had predicted or was my future now destined and set in stone by him?  What or who exactly makes our futures?  Do we make our future from the feelings of inadequacy that we are losers, never good enough, and our inner demons that haunt us and eventually motivate us to create our future?  Or, are our futures made from something more that is beyond us, cannot be seen, and that is written in the stars and in the heavens above that no fortune teller, crystal ball, or scroll of Chinese characters says? 
A fortune teller I never met who wrote my future only based on my mere birth date made me search inward that there comes a point where the thinking and analyzing of outsiders and ourselves must stop for “the plunge,” or action and doing, to begin.  
I admit it.  33 years later, and I still get as self-conscious as ever.  I still feel like I face-off with my worst enemy much more than I care or ever wish to.  All of us and most definitely I have wasted and still waste time and energy on caring and worrying about what others thought or still think about me, resulting in the worst case scenario of self-fulfilling prophecy—you are or become what others perceive and believe.   However, the great gifts that come from self-conscious, worst enemy, and inadequacy are motivation and the desire to improve to look towards and forward to create the future. 
I have always mentally battled with the decision-making process in regards to my future out of fear that the choices I made will be filled with regrets.  However, I always act and eventually plunge accordingly out of my own personal refusal to live a life of misery or complaints.  I refuse and choose and, from there on, destiny and higher above heavens will play their parts completely out of my hands and control.  And, I am coming to accept this.  All of this. 
I often wish that there is a temporary off-switch to my brain.  To quiet and silence my loud mind for just a little while.  Every so often, I will think of the fortune teller and the scroll in the midst of such loud thoughts that play in my head and I think how this anonymous fortune teller made me realize that my greatest fortune lies in my abilities to act and be my very own fortune teller. 
What or who exactly do you think makes our futures?  Is it you?  Or, is it beyond you? 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary ;-) 
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