Take the Trip Change Your Life


What if she had crossed ten minutes earlier?

These were the opening words from a world-renowned psychic during an ill-fated trip I took to seek her “counsel.”

We Catholics weren’t supposed to go to psychics because they practiced the “dark arts” waved chicken legs around and doomed your soul with their tainted information gleaned from peeking behind the curtain that only the big guy was supposed to have access to. Besides, the “unconfirmed” sources whispering ghostly tidbits  in their ears were probably those satanic minions trying to trick us into admitting we knew someone who had “passed” whose first name began “with an M or an L?”

This woman was adamant about me going on a road trip that was destined to change my life and after I went home I couldn’t shake this unnerving feeling that she had been right.

But what trip? Where the hell was I going? Was this quest going to change  my future in such an earth shattering way that I would be foolish to ignore all requests to take a drive in the car? Small? Big? What the fuck should I pack?

Now I wonder to myself how many life altering events started with a tiny seed planted by an unsuspecting fate farmer. A psychic looking to put on a good show drops some juicy nuggets about roadtrippin’ and the future pivots on its heel and upends all set plans. 

My trip turned out to be a game changer. I hopped a train  out of Penn Station with my overnight bag, twenty dollars and two boxes of Triscuits and took a huge risk by leaving my boyfriend and turning a good friend into something more while on the road.  The fact that I ended up marrying the aforementioned “good friend” makes me take a moment to imagine my life in an alternate universe where I didn’t hop on the Silver Star Express out of New York. 

 Would I have settled into a routine and married the other guy, living close to where I was raised and wondering what could have been?  If there had been problems what kind of solutions would I have found? Wallowing in depression or drinking heavily? After years of repressed anger would I have just turned around in the kitchen one day and brained him with the largest designer iron skillet we owned, landing me in prison to serve a lengthy sentence?

How many more potential futures were out there swirling around for YOU before the pieces locked into place and delivered your current situation? Think of all the tiny shards of well executed decision-making that led you right to this very second in your life. Did you decide to wait five minutes before stepping into your car never to find out that you missed dying by only seconds in a fiery accident? Did you wait those five minutes because you wanted to finish the last paragraph of a deliciously deviant gossip story in a tabloid rag?

Did you end up with the best or the worst of your case scenarios? Clearly you’ll never know but imagine yourself as a rock star, famous actress or athlete perhaps brought on by a chance encounter or career deviation. Now imagine yourself in those glorious professions, sad isolated and alone under enormous pressure, perhaps even drug addicted or hopelessly unhappy.

What if you’ve gotten the best possible set of cards that you could have been dealt. Maybe you avoided death, destruction and nightmarish circumstances  and your simple yet tranquil life is a far cry from the cardboard box you might have resided in.

Tomorrow when you step outside think about the timing, yours and everyone elses, and how that plays a role in the days events. Billions of possible futures dancing together to weave the present drifting right by you. How easily it could never have happened if one grasshopper hadn’t caught the attention of two children skipping merrily to school ten thousand miles away.



Filed under alternate lives, fate, psychics, road trip across country, roadtrip, taking a trip and changing your life, what would you be?, why I never listen to nuns

21 responses to “Take the Trip Change Your Life

  1. This is a wonderful post! I wonder about these things too. The questions you posed made me think of the movie Sliding Doors… Sometimes though I have to stop myself from going down this route because it is a dangerous thought when you feel something is lacking in your life…

    • Dufmanno

      I loved that movie. Now that I think about it my duel fates are probably similar to what happened to her even though a missed train didn’t prevent me from catching a philandering boyfriend. Or did it? Ha!
      Now that I think about it Andy Summers book “One Train Later” talks about a similar case scenario in the 70’s when he And Stewart Copeland happened to run into each other during the formative years of the Police and he muses that had he been on the next train instead and not bumped into him at that moment things may have had a very different outcome.
      I wonder why trains are involved in so many fateful moments?

  2. Agatha82

    Yes, this also reminds me of Sliding Doors. My life is full of this moments. I bump into people when the odds of bumping into them are astronomical. My friends joke that my life seems to be following a very specific path and I know what they mean so I am very much aware of what you speak of. I think it’s best not to think too much about how these things happen, I just go with the flow 🙂

  3. Dufmanno

    Or we could all have a “Sound of Thunder” moment where we worry that stepping off the path and doing whatever he does to that butterfly ( I think he kills it?) might destroy the world as we know it.
    Sometimes I get an overwhelming sense that I should change course & I usually follow that instinct because it feels correct. Sadly, this causes me to crash and burn more often than I’d like but maybe the lesson needed to be learned to prevent something else more catastrophic.

  4. now you have me really wondering about my repressed anger and heavy drinking. before this i just figured they were normal. maybe i need triscuits.

    • Dufmanno

      Wouldn’t worry too much as I think we all have some repressed anger. I think everyone needs it and it’s a wonderful way to kickstart the soul. How can anyone kick proper ass without something to draw from?
      As for the heavy drinking I’ll down one Bass Ale and raise you a vodka and grapefruit. Also, never forget the Franzia.

  5. you’re on! also, will you marry me?

  6. Ry Sal

    I think I was about 14 when I had my fortune read at a boy/girl party that was mildly supervised. It was a Halloween party– and when the Teller told me that my green knuckles meant I was going to be rich later in life, I explained that they were still stained from punching a green giant for mocking my boob size. Still waiting in being rich.

    I could take over your blog with my lists of what-ifs vs. fate… I’m still scouring Catholicism for the fate of using a Ouija Board and the all powerful Magic 8 ball for most of my major life decisions.

    • dufmanno

      The Ouija board is a TOOL OF SATAN. My friends used to pull that thing out at sleepovers and I’d instantly shit my pants. We confessed our usage of the foul game to a nun and she told us that we could become lodged in the vice grip of lucifer if we weren’t careful.
      I wish a kid painted green had noticed my boobs at fourteen. Sigh.

      • Ry Sal

        Well I’m certainly damned, and not skipping mass on Sunday. My mom used to get calls from other moms all the time about my satanic ouija hobby…. She was all like — Parker Brothers made it!

  7. dufmanno

    Maybe Satan runs Parker Brothers? No, actually I think he’s on the board of directors at Mattel.

  8. Pingback: Cool Shit 5 — « Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

  9. Did you ever watch that Flash Forward show? Basically the premise was that we all have paths that we’re sort of pre-destined to be on and that the universe will try and steer us to them, even if we miss that train, or grasshopper. I dunno, there was something intriguing to it. This isn’t a funny comment at all. Yeti Balls. Tada.

    • dufmanno

      I’m fighting the universe too? Now that I know it’s not worth it I’ll just sit back in the t-shirt I’ve been wearing for two weeks and let fate run it’s course. I’m off duty. Oh and I actually SMELL like Yeti balls.

  10. Janet

    First things first, yes, totally and unequivicably Y-E-S. Right decision was made. But for the love of god, you left the rest of us poor saps to clean up the puddle of a mess of a human being (granted we may have been responsible for that dragging on longer than is should have, but…) – ugh. I’m tired just remebering that. Glad you gave up the disappearing though, I missed you.
    Carry on – kisses,

    • dufmanno

      Oh please, you loved using your amateur psychology skills to sew him back up.
      What would you do for a pastime if you didn’t have one or two quivering puddles to mop? Come to think of it I need to hire a new assistant to take care of that for me since you guys are so far up there and I’m so far down here.

  11. Tom G.

    Oh jeez. I think about this all the time. It even factors into a lot of the stories I tell. The way I met my lovely wife was such a random flukey event, just one small detail could have changed our lives forever. I like to think it was predestined fate, even though the Catholic in me knows that one of them protestant ideas (See Sister! I paid attention!) thinking otherwise would freak me out too much.

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