Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baby you're a firework

I never really listened to the words of Katy Perry's song Firework until recently so I'm pretty late in saying this: I love this song. Listening to it brought me back to a not-too-distant time when I felt absolutely lost, aimless and alone ... and how a few encouraging words from a complete stranger gave me something to cling on to and helped me get out of that dark hole I was in.

I'm not a very superstitious person—which is something seeing as how I grew up in the Philippines where many an establishment has statues of Baby Jesus, Buddha and that darn waving golden cat side by side for maximum luck. I don't own a single amulet, evil eye or dream catcher.  And as much as I may harp on about Saturn Return, the truth is, I don't know the difference between a Libra and Virgo.

But in 2009, I hit a crossroad—and I was at such a loss that I decided to sit down for my first (and quite probably last) tarot card reading. I couldn't decide which road to take and would take any advice at this point. One road was an extension of the life I'd led for the last three years—years that were blissfully  happy until I found out that the dazzling scenery on this road was just a painted backdrop. An illusion that hid some unpleasant truths. But I had been happy here and I couldn't seem to leave. The other road was bare at the outset and started with a leap off  a cliff into a place I'd never seen before. But it led to a new frontier, a new world that I could make my own.

The woman didn't show a flicker of emotion until she started laying out my cards. Once she read them, she delivered the crushing blow swiftly. I couldn't stay on this road, she told me. It was taking me in circles and it would bring me back to the same place over and over again if I didn't get off. She didn't know me from Adam and I suppose I'll never know whether she really has a gift for seeing the future or not—but at the very least she saw my pain and told me what I needed to hear

As the last embers of hope for my old life died within me, she stoked a new fire. She started to tell me what the other cards said.

"Do you see this one? It shows someone emerging from a dark place and coming into the light. That's you. You've been through something very difficult and painful, but you're almost out of it. You're going to get to the light soon."

She pointed out another card that showed several cups standing in a row. "Do you see that? You've gone through a lot but at the end of it, all your cups are still standing. You're very strong. You have so many good things ahead of you."

What does all of this have to do with Katy Perry's song?

At some point in our lives, we all hit devastating lows. That moment stands out in my life as a time when I felt so betrayed and beaten down that I didn't even know what I was worth and what I deserved. But this woman, god bless her, gave me hope that better things would come if I could look inward for strength and find the courage to go for the life I deserved to have. I love this song because it  could be for others what that tarot card reader was for me. And if a song is not enough, I hope that my experience can give some measure of comfort. Looking back at that road from the other side, know that this uncertainty, emptiness, frustration and loss eventually passes. When you get to the other side, you'll be glad you picked this path because the view from here is bloody brilliant.

As the song says, "Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed is so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road."

* * *

... if all that was a tad too heavy or sappy for you, shake it off with Katy Perry singing Firework + Akon + the Victoria's Secret fashion show. Have a great weekend, my dears!


  1. I do quite a car performance to this song. I haven't actually listened to the lyrics though, I'll do that next time it's on.

    I once did a fortune reading in Hong Kong and I was told basically I needed to listen more and open myself up. Hopefully that's what she said, I had a bit of a language barrier working against me. :)

  2. I looooove that song as well (and it also happens to be my favorite song to dance to on Just Dance 2...heehee). As soon as I heard it I added it to my "Life List" playlist on iTunes (basically a list of songs to push me to complete my goals).

  3. I have a bad habit of not listening to lyrics but I listened to this song the first time and it actually brought me to tears. It's definitely my new "turn it up to 11" song when it comes on the radio.

    When I had my tarot reading, it was really vague. I just did it for entertainment and I know that you don't really believe it either, but I'm glad that it helped get you jumpstarted in a new direction! Whatever works!

  4. Things to Do - oooh it would be a great song for car performances! Too funny about the Hong Kong fortune-teller. For all you know she asked for your first-born!
    Cece - a Life List playlist is SUCH a good idea!
    101 Things Before You Die - it is an amazing kick in the butt when you're feeling low right? Whatever works!


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