I draw a tarot card each morning. Sometimes, they don’t feel especially poignant, but sometimes they are right on the nose. This morning, I drew the Seven of Wands. It’s not a good-feeling card to draw in any way, shape, or form. In my deck, the card depicts a witch with her wand drawn and six others pointed back at her. She is backed up on the edge of a cliff with nowhere to go.
The card symbolizes many things. Delays, frustrations, feeling like everything is going against you. Sevens in the tarot deck usually hint at challenge and come after the abundance of the sixes. It can feel unbearable to face a low after a high. Unfortunately, in life, we will have many rises and falls.
For many, 2020 was the worst year. I was privileged to have lots of blessings in 2020 among the challenges. In January, I spent my birthday in St. Lucia, drinking beer and watching the sunset. After the pandemic hit, I moved to a nicer place (sans palmetto bugs), got a raise, did well at work, obtained a literary agent. I made big strides in therapy and became closer with my friends. My loved ones stayed safe and healthy. I had a psychotic break for two weeks but recovered with the care and support of my therapist. My top pick for the democratic nomination became our current Vice President.
In 2021, the tides changed. On my birthday, I was alone here in St. Pete. I spent four months applying for jobs, interviewing once a week, but never got offered a position. I tried to move north to be with some of my childhood friends but couldn’t because of the job situation. I asked the woman I love to move in with me and she said no. I tried to publish my first book with my agent, but all the editors passed on it. I have to move in May and every single apartment I see is a good $200-$300 more than what it was last year (and above my pay grade). My goal was to buy a house this summer, but none of them are affordable right now, either.
This year has felt especially challenging. At the same time, I still feel so fortunate in so many ways. I’m healthy and not psychotic, so that’s a big plus. My friends are healthy, too. They and their loved ones are vaccinated. There are many things to look forward to. But there is still a huge part of me that looked at that Seven of Wands this morning and felt angry.
I want so badly for things to work out for me, to have little successes so I can move forward in bigger ways. But the world doesn’t always give us what we want. The Seven of Wands is a reminder that life ebbs and flows. It encourages us to be calm and sit with our distress during small moments of frustration. It is a good reminder, even though it isn’t always what I want to hear.