Choose Your Fortune…Cookie

by Kathryn Baldwin

Finishing up my final three days of college is like being trapped in a tornado and liking it. Last week I:

1)    Solidified my commencement eligibility.

2)    Was informed about two awards that I will be receiving.

3)    And was hired with a non-profit organization.

As I prepare for a life of full-time employment, I must first reflect on how the heck I survived juggling four years of double-major, collegiate insanity. The answer? FORTUNE COOKIES!

Here’s the story:

Last week Professor Spicher lent me a movie that reveals the secret to success (“The Secret,” also available in Spanish, “El Secreto”). The movie describes that thinking positively about your desires, as well as envisioning your dreams coming true, releases ripples into the universe that will bring the dreams to life. In other words, if you envision yourself graduating with honors and believe it to be the real future, you will graduate with honors; if you envision yourself dropping out of school and developing depression, you will not have a happy future. If you envision yourself being an obese 50-year-old Grandpa, you will be obese; if you envision yourself healthy and riding bikes with your grandkids at age 50, you will likely have a longer lifespan. Granted, it’s not simple as pie, but it is definitely as simple as fortune cookies.

For as long as I can remember, my family has gotten take-out Chinese food from China Gourmet. My sister and I would reach into the wax paper baggie, grab the first cookie we touched, and crack the two halves apart as though the winning lottery numbers sat trapped inside. After reading the message, we decided between two things:

1)    If the fortune was positive, we would eat the cookie AND eat the paper message!

2)    If the fortune was negative, we would eat the cookie and throw away the message.

As we got older, we learned how seriously disturbing it was to eat paper. Instead, I started saving the positive messages. Later, I would unexpectedly find them in jean pockets, in the crack of a seat in the car, in the pencil pocket of my backpack. Considering I always forgot the mini-message a minute after reading it, finding the fortune for the second time was just as thrilling as the first.

Throughout college, I saved my favorite fortunes and posted them in corners of places I see often:

My Car Speedometer:

My Bathroom Mirror:

My Desk’s Magnet Strip:

My Inspiration Board:

Call me a hoarder, but glancing positive words throughout my whirl-wind days brings a constant breeze of happiness. They remind me periodically that life is positive if I allow it to be positive.

Today, when I picked up some take-out Wonton Soup, I pleaded for a few extra fortune cookies thinking I could share with all of you. I sat down at my final essay with my soup and some Yogi Tea, and took the first cookie out with you in mind:

When I looked in the bag, I saw that one had already been cracked during the ride home. Deciding that this particular fortune was destined for me, I pulled it out:

Yes universe, I will certainly be celebrating my graduation this week. Call it good fortune; call it superstition; call it faith; call it chance; call it serendipity; call it whatever you want! If you ask me, I think the something wanted you all to take this positivity thing very seriously.

PS: Please visit the Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco’s China Town. It takes less that one minute to see the entire place, but watching the cookies get formed so rapidly is a necessary addition to your bucket list!

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2 Comments to “Choose Your Fortune…Cookie”

  1. We were such awesome kids who had way too much fun eating paper! I think some of those fortunes came true because of that!!!

  2. Totes do the same thing as you, sans paper consumption. Funny thing is that I have a word doc on my computer labeled “fortune cookie,” you beat me to it!

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