The absolutely worst thing just happened to me. I was driving home and stopped at a local Chinese food take out place. I am a real Chinese food kind of gal. Since I was a child, my parents took me to Chinatown in NY for dinner at Lee’s. They had determined Lee’s was the best and while we did not eat out often, we did become frequent dinner guests at Lee’s on Mott Street.
I wasn’t starving but I needed something easy. I considered egg drop soup. I am a huge egg drop soup fan. But no, that wasn’t going to do it, I needed something with a bit of bulk. I always like Moushu Pork but that was much more than I wanted. Hmmm, something quick with a bit of bulk, I know, Easy! I ordered an egg roll. Yes, that was exactly what I wanted. An egg roll and nothing more. Well, I assumed that while I ordered just an egg roll, that I would be given a fortune cookie as well. A fair assumption on my part, because Chinese restaurants ALWAYS include fortune cookies, not because you ask for them, just because they want to give them to you. At Lee’s, we always had fortune cookies.
Just a few minutes later, a version of “Mauri An” was called, and I was handed a small bag. I quickly scanned the bag for its contents. Yes! It was all there. A warm egg roll and the coveted fortune cookie that surely would offer me a look into my future. The Egg Roll was just as good as I had imagined so my mouth was happy and so was I. And now to the fortune cookie. I decided to take the fortune cookie home, where I could savor it and contemplate my fortune.
I transported the Fortune cookie carefully all the way home. My hands almost trembled at the very thought of having the next stage of my life revealed to me on a tiny little white paper. Would my fortune suggest that there was a new personal relationship blooming? Would it talk of my next business venture? Something about my family, suggesting a new grandchild maybe? Oh my goodness, the possibilities were endless!
I slowly removed the narrow white slip of paper. I imagined a drum roll and an audience of people silenced in anticipation of what was about to be revealed. Oh no, how could this happen to me? The paper was blank!!! It said nothing, absolutely nothing! I have been eating fortune cookies since I was four years old and needed help reading the message. I have had some confusing fortunes, some funny ones, and some that really seemed captured the essence of me. But never, never before have I received a blank fortune!”
What does nothing mean? Does it mean that nothing is going to occur throughout the rest of my life? Does it mean that I cannot learn from any more ancient Chinese wisdom? Perhaps it means it is time for me to write my own fortune, to create my own next steps, to decide what it is that I would love to do for the rest of my life. The blank fortune offers no boundaries or limitations. Perhaps this isn’t the worst thing that happened to me, but rather, the best thing!
How cool is it that women today really can do anything they put their minds to? While there are still a few male-dominated industries, women have made inroads in IT, medicine, law, construction, finance and even the media and Major League Sports. We are finding fewer boundaries and limitations, and finding ways to get around those that still exist.
My good fortune is in my ability to create something new however I envision it. It is in my ability to combine my passion and skill sets with an opportunity to help other women. Wow, this wordless Fortune Cookie has given me a lot to think about!
Sometimes no message is a valuable message. Know what I mean?