You know you’re lost when…

On one of my first nights in Toronto, when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and vulnerable, I was wandering aimlessly up and down this busy downtown street near my sublet apartment like a stray cat. I was eyeing everyone and everything with suspicion, walking stupidly in and out of shops/bars and just generally hopping around from place to place like a little bird who just hit its head.


I was in one of those hopelessly pathetic post-breakup states where you are incapable of focusing on anything other than just how impossibly alone you are.  (It’s not just me, right? I have no idea.) Anyways, the streets were packed with people socializing, loitering on the corners, smoking outside of bars, and just generally enjoying the company of others. Another exciting night in downtown Toronto.

Not for me, though. I was busy clinging desperately to the enormous welling tears which I could feel ready and eager to claw their way out of my eyes and torrent down my face. I didn’t want to go back to my new apartment to cry awkwardly in front of my new roommate. Actually I didn’t want to cry, full stop. But it was inevitable and I knew it. I felt confused; empty. I had no one to talk to and had no where to go that I felt comfortable, so when I stumbled upon a sign that read “PSYCHIC READING, $20”, I thought okay.. what the hell? I will try anything right now to feel better.


She lived above some bar on the main stretch and I had to make my way through a group of rather curious and rather drunk patrons to ring her doorbell. I waited at the bottom of the stairwell, surrounded by this group of men asking me why I needed a psychic, telling me what a scam I was in for, etc. Of course I know, of course I do, I’m not stupid. I’m well aware that I’m about to waste my money. I don’t care. 

She could probably read the desperation on my face from a mile away. We locked eyes through the door for a moment before she buzzed me in. I turned the knob and made my way up her ominous stairwell with a good dose of trepidation… no turning back now. I sat down cautiously and observed her room. It was exactly what you’d expect from such a place: dim lighting, tarot cards and signs, granite palm figures on the desk, incense burning, curtains dangling around us, candles burning everywhere, and some testimonials framed on the wall describing how marvellously she changed her client’s lives and how amazing she was. Comforting.

I was still fighting to keep it together when she took her seat across from me. We sat in a bizarre moment of silence that seemed to drag on and on before she finally asked me how I was doing. I just stared meekly in her general direction. I knew the next sounds coming from me would not be pretty and so I responded with a haphazard shrug.

“You’re hurting,” she said lamely. And I say lamely because anyone could have looked at me and seen that I was on the cusp of a compete breakdown. Leave it to a psychic to state the obvious.

No shit, I thought, and then it was over.

I sat across from this woman whose name I didn’t know, in her strange apartment, in a new city, feeling desperately lost and alone, and cried like an idiot. I cried and I couldn’t help myself. Too much had happened in too short a time and the finality of it all was catching up with me. I’m sure she saw a dollar sign for every tear that rolled down my cheek. She had hit the jackpot with me.

I started to tell her everything that had happened in the last month between my (ex) partner and I. She listened so sweetly while I spewed all the frivolous thoughts in my head about how confused I was, how lost. But of course, crying is therapy and more I let out, the better I felt until finally I was able to think with some semblance of rationality again. (It seemed to slip away so easily for a while…) When I finally finished my sob story she took me by the hand and stared intently into my eyes.

“I want to be more than your psychic,” she said, “I want to be your spiritual advisor.”

Well actually.. you haven’t really done much psychic-ing up to now,  if I’m honest. But I didn’t mention that.

She started to explain that she could help me. She knew what had to be done and she could get my partner and I back together in two months tops. (Guaranteed!) Relief was mine if I wanted it, she’d carry the burden from now on. She would give me her number and be at my beck and call whenever I needed her. Anytime of the day or night, all I had to do was call or text and everything would be alright. All I had to do was trust in her to do her work.

Oh, and dish out 800 dollars for a special candle.

Uhh…. what’s that now?

Yes, you read right, eight hundred dollars… for a candle.  

I explained to her that that was impossible as I couldn’t even afford the twenty dollars I paid for the sheer pleasure of crying in her company. But she continued…

“I’m so worried for you. If you don’t do this, you’re going to become more and more upset. The crying will never stop. You will be more alone than ever.”

A bit harsh, I know, but she was only doing her job. In any case, I needed to shut this perceived avenue of revenue down for her ASAP. I mean I know I looked desperate, but there was ZERO chance I was willing to give her 800 dollars to burn a candle in the hopes of rekindling my relationship with my ex.

The interesting thing was that as I sat there listening to her try to convince me otherwise, I started thinking… What if I’m not supposed to get back with him, though? I’ve just moved across the country to start this new life, I can’t turn back now. I can’t dilute my energy like that. Isn’t there a reason why I’m here and not there right now? Why can’t you be telling me that there are great things ahead for me HERE?

These thoughts took me a bit off guard. I mean, hadn’t I been crying over my ex for the last twenty minutes because I missed him so much? Wasn’t I so upset because our life together was over? And then I realized that no, that wasn’t it. Not to say that I didn’t miss him in that moment, because I did, but it wasn’t him that was leaving me crying in a stranger’s house at 1130 at night. I was just overwhelmed that so much was happening all at once. I was in a free fall with no idea where I was going to land, and I was scared. Of course I was. Nothing wrong with that.

Suddenly it seemed entirely silly to be sat there, crying over my ex with a strange woman, when I had so much to look forward to. I’m not exactly sure what I expected to get out of the encounter. Some guidance, I suppose. A hint that I’m on the right path. Truth be told all I really needed was a friend with a shoulder, and to her credit she gave that to me and I’m grateful for it.

Crying is like writing sometimes, you just need to get it out in order to make sense of things. I thanked her for her time, she gave me her card, and I left. I left having gained everything I needed to in that moment. Just a little clarity, a little piece of mind. And she gave that to me in the exact opposite way I imagined she would.

If you guys haven’t been to see a psychic yet, I highly recommend doing so. It can be quite the experience.

34 thoughts on “You know you’re lost when…

  1. See, you should put a up a shingle and become a psychic. You predicted you would find answers there, and it came true. :). Sorry for the joke, but this is quite the experience and you will be a better writer, and person, because of it. Oh, and if you can give me the lotto numbers for Wednesday that would be great. 🙂

  2. Oh… Owwww.

    No you are not alone. Emphatically not.

    I am at the Vancouver Folk Fest. Reading blog posts idly between songs and sets. And this song came up.

    Seems appropriate…

    … Not to imply any spiritual power brought this song to me for your benefit 😉

    Although… They did just sing “There’s a higher power”. 🙂

  3. Isn’t that weird? We always are where we were meant to be. Its hard at times to listen to the messages we received. It was probably that ridiculous fee and candle, and for what. Any how really connected with the story and I hope all is well now. Never been to Toronto, how do you like it?

  4. Thank you for taking me on your adventure. Although you felt differently at the moment, with the support you have here, you must know now that you are not alone. I have a post called “I Sat By The Ocean…” about a crying incident, similar cause (an Ex-husband) different effect, you might enjoy reading it.

  5. I generally prefer a bottle of red wine myself, but the end result is the same (minus the hangover in your case) – $20 very well spent to shed some layers and see to the heart of the matter. Try not to doubt yourself too much – you’ve got this 🙂

  6. Haha a fascinating night if nothing else. For me, it’s been over two years. I still miss her every day. But as you discovered, there’s enough where we are. Getting back together by buying an $800 candle isn’t worth it 😛 Enjoy Toronto! I know a lot of people there and they seem to like it well enough.

      1. Good. Apparently you’re also blogging a lot and I missed it in my hiatus from blogging. Will have to get caught up. Looks like a stressful but growing time. I’m happy to hear it’s been turning out for the better.

      2. I don’t know that I’d say a lot, but more for sure. I have to catch up on yours, too! Things have been pretty crazy.

      3. Uh, yeah. Your life kind of exploded 😛 It blows, but it heals. Read your break up post and teared up. Definitely nailed it. In my experience, whatever you do, do not talk to him for at least a year. At least.

      4. I started no contact about 10 days ago… Going strong. My goal is 30 days. At some point when our house sells I have to go meet the lawyers with him… Maybe after that I can start a year?

      5. Still better than I did 😛 I continued talking to her for like six months, and I think that did more damage than the break. Good luck with the house sale!

  7. At least she comforted you. I do believe some people have “powers” the rest of us don’t, but finding those that do would be difficult. I hope you are in a better place now. Things in life change, and there is not always something we can do about that, but accept it and learn for next time.

  8. I love that story!! Weirdly enough, I feel like this could have been me! I know the pain as well as I moved to the other side of the world for love that didn’t last! …also, I’ve always wondered what would happen if I went to see a psychic 🙂

  9. I like your pour-out angst. You have a gentle reflective writing. I am not sure whether consulting a psychic is a wise one. All those in 6th sense are negative. I used to read astro-columns but now I am have stopped. At least writing this must have been therapeutic for you. I am willing to be you soul listener if you want. You can mail me at or Anand Bose from Kerala

  10. I wanna ask, how do you suppose you deal with it, given that, let’s say there weren’t any closure? So you seen a psychic and what not, but…how would you say that you know you’re really not lost? I mean, I can relate to you on a certain degree, that is, and being lost isn’t my forte, neither my cup of tea. So how would you know if you’re on the right track, should there be a right track at all?

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