Canada
3 min

The not-so-secret Secret

I am a witch. At least according to my mother I am. All the women in her family are. And the reason that some may not be able to influence their reality is not because she’s wrong, but because they are not open to it. But those of us that can will things to happen? It’s not coincidence, but the witch thing.

For years I have fought the craziness that is my mother’s theory on the universe, the idea that if you believe you can see into the future then you can, and if you are capable of comparing events in your life to your true desire then the proof is in your reality, so to speak. But as the start of my big Euro adventure draws closer I am more inclined to give her theories some thought beyond, “Okay crazy. Can I pour you another?”

It started when this whole “Let’s move to Europe for a year” thing came up. There was a lot of talk at our house about how we would possibly afford to do it. Would I work remotely, holding onto my current job but doing it in a way where I would be able to get some sleep and have a life (and see the Bastille out of our apartment window)? Would I get a job in Europe even though I didn’t have papers? Would I freelance and pray that this time would be different from the other time I tried and was so paralyzed by the fear that I couldn’t make it happen, that I was unable to do anything, thus, making it not happen?

I became pretty set on the idea that I should try to find a job in the UK, that since my brother and sister had lived there their whole lives and that my mother was practically naturalized it shouldn’t be all that difficult. It helped that I kind of knew what I was doing when it came to being an editor. And then, I got a call. A lovely woman, friend of a friend, worked for a recruitment agency and recently was tasked at finding an editorial director for a publishing company that produced several custom beauty magazines. Funny that. I was a custom beauty magazine editor. Just sayin’.

The other alternative to finding steady employment was winning the lottery. Now my mother, the witch, has been trying to win the lottery for as long as I can remember and to the best of my recollection I do not believe we were ever millionaires. I’m almost sure we weren’t even thousandaires. But if you don’t play, you’ll never win. So, last weekend, I’m on my way to the store to get the essentials — soy milk, wheat-free bread and my winning lotto ticket — and beside the wheel of the car is $20. Just sitting there. Like it’s waiting for me. Fortuitous, no? I thought so. Pleased, off I go to buy the tickets. I purchase what I believe will be winners and I happen to drop one on the floor in the convenience store. As I bend down to pick it up I notice it has fallen onto a small pile of $5 bills. That’s a total of $35 dollars in winning. Not a bad haul. And no thanks to the Ontario Lottery Gaming commission who, by the way, did not listen to my witch-like instructions to make this past-weekend’s ticket a winner.

The saying “be careful what you wish for” isn’t for nothing. How many people have woken up one day and cursed their job only to find themselves fired? Or the terrible after-school-special scenario when you wish someone was dead ’cause they are really making you mad and then… they are. So I guess what one needs to learn, if one is to embrace their witch heritage, is how to harness such a “power.” And I feel like maybe I went rogue before I knew what I was doing and I may have caused a little universal havoc.

My wife is not a witch, but an Aquarian. For those of you who are familiar with this astrological sign, you are already aware that they are often rational, practical people with a tendency to throw caution to the wind. Not large believers in the “greater power,” it is for that reason I think it might have been my determination to give my wife some much-needed time off work before our departure that has her spending afternoons “napping.” I suppose, though, I should have been more specific in my ask. As of late my wife has been quite ill, taking precious hours from her self-employed job (where if you’re not at work you don’t get paid) to go to the walk-in clinic, emergency room, doctors appointments and lie in bed at home in agony.

And of course, thanks to the tip-top healthcare system we have here, the concern is that we won’t have figured out whatever is creating the excruciating pain before we are ready to leave. Free doesn’t always mean good and right now that lottery win is looking good for more than a chateau rental in Provence.

My new mantra: Use your powers only for good. And my advice: Just be careful what you wish for.

* In no way is this column intended to make light of Wicca, Wiccans or anything associated with the oppression or persecution of women who battled against being branded/labeled for fear of retribution throughout history. And yes, my mother really does think we’re witches.