Semester 1, Issue 1, 2019
Those who know me will be aware of my annual escape attempts, but this time I was truly determined to take agency in my life decisions and not to let the thoughts win. (New year, new me.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, I spent most of the past summer unsure of where I would end up. When January came, two of my housemates turned very sour and my fate became even less certain.
I also live with Rose, a friend of mine from high school. When the two rogue housemates announced their imminent departure, we could barely suppress our joy. Hushed whispers echoed throughout the house incessantly: ‘the witches are dead! Ding dong!’ Day by day the tensions mounted. In a desperate attempt to avoid a bloodbath of litigation, Rose and I decided to go back to Canberra to see our families and wait till it had all blown over.
The car trip with Rose went very fast. We entered a new realm of comfort in our conversations, removing all social barriers until communication flowed straight from the collective unconscious. After 7 hours in the car together with barely a moment of silence, we began to debate the benefits of reason and intuition.
It emerged that Rose had secretly learnt to read tarot cards over the past 10 years. I argued that leaving decisions to intuition (or ‘to the cards’) deprives the subject of any meaningful agency: reasoned analysis is necessary. Rose argued that tarot cards are mere cards which provide different ways of analysing a question that have not occurred to a rational-minded subject.
We were so committed to this argument that we drove straight past the turnoff to Canberra and didn’t realise until we had driven all the way to Goulburn an hour later. It would appear to me that Fate took us there. Contrary to what I had ever thought was possible, I am certain that this detour was on the cards all along. Accordingly, we stopped for a tarot reading in the car’s name.
The tarot advised each of us to explore the mindset of the other, and we were able to reconcile our vehemently opposed views. I accepted the destination that pure intuition had led us to. Rose accepted that we had to make a reasoned analysis of the highway rather than leaving the rest of the car trip to the cards. We chose where to go rather than letting the highway take us all the way back to Melbourne (or to Sydney, depending on Fate’s humour).
We realised that you can either accept the path you have been given and stick to it, or you can choose your own. Or perhaps your intuition could override your power of choice and lead you somewhere you’d never thought you could get to. If you succumb to fate, not only can you exceed your goals but travel so far beyond them that they no longer seem relevant at all.
Upon our return to Melbourne everything was as planned. The rogue housemates had gone, our sunflowers had sprouted and our fear of a High Court dispute had subsided. Intuition took us away from the conflict, and the conflict made a reasoned decision to abandon us. As I prepare for another year of law school I will be sure to keep my goals in clear sight. I will continue to follow the road I’ve placed myself on, remaining mindful that I might not end up where I expect to go.
Jacob is a Third Year JD Student.
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