One of the best parts of being a child is being carefree. If a child has been blessed with a financially stable family, he doesn’t need to worry about where the next meal will come from, how life choices he is making right now will affect his future, or how he is in a mess that he cannot get out of.
I think lack of such cares lead to many an interesting conversation between children. And these conversations often stick, becoming a part of the fabric of a person. It is one such playground conversation with my childhood friends that I’ve been reflecting upon recently.
Growing up in Pakistan, superstitions and old wives tales ran rampant, and children would sit around in the summer talking about these for hours. An upside down shoe results in a fight in the family. A crow on the power lines indicates a guest will soon be visiting your house. A broken glass cup is an indicator for impending good news.
One day over the summer, this other child, a bit older, told us all that the lines on your palm can predict your future. The longer the first horizontal line, the longer you will live. The second horizontal line’s direction indicates the direction of your life as the years pass by. Any vertical lines cutting through the two horizontal lines indicate trouble, relative to your age (i.e. where the horizontal line intersects with the vertical line). My lines tell an interesting story. Here is how it’s broken down:
- The first horizontal line, which indicates age, runs three-fourths of the length of my hand. If the entire hand indicates a lifespan of 100 years, then I’ll live to be around 66.
- The second horizontal line, which indicates the direction of life, keeps going up a little less than half the length of the line, and then takes a downturn after intersecting with the vertical line.
- The vertical line, which indicates major trouble, intersects with the horizontal lines right before the halfway point of the horizontal lines.
So much to say that when you put the three items together the life story goes something like this. I’d live to be ~65. Just a little before halfway through my life, major trouble will brew. Before the trouble, my life will have trended in the right direction (up, up and up), and after the trouble, it will take a nosedive.
I am almost 30 now…and therefore, just a little before the halfway point. The major trouble in my life is the DUI. Before the arrest, my life had going in absolutely the right trajectory. As one former boss once said to me, “everything you touch turns to gold.” And my subconscious fear is whether the rest of this childhood tale will come true, too…whether the rest of my life will take a nosedive. And as I was resting after my DUI class two nights ago, I couldn’t help but look at my hand and think about the “prophecy.”
But you know what? Childhood tales belong in the childhood. If I had no control over my destiny, life would be utterly meaningless. Instead, the DUI is a major speed bump. And you get over those. You eventually end up at your destination despite these bumps. I’ve gotten lucky for 30 years – things have gone my way. For the first time in my life, something major didn’t go my way, and it was because of my awful decision. Lesson learned. Time to move on and time to keep getting better.
In September 2015, I will be submitting my application to take the bar exam. I will pass this bar exam. And hopefully, the State Bar will give me a second chance. And when they do, my life will continue on an upward direction.