I’m not religious. I don’t believe in some divine power having a “plan” for me. I waver between atheism and agnosticism. I put my faith in science, valuing whatever has concrete proof over hearsay.

That’s why it might not make sense that there’s a horoscope app on my phone, that I see a psychic four to five times a year, or that I have a wide collection of crystals placed in various corners of my apartment. I wouldn’t describe myself as a spiritual person, yet here I am with a rose quartz in one hand, clicking on the Pisces forecast with the other. So, why do I embrace these things despite my underlying disbelief in their legitimacy?

For guidance.

I describe myself as a hopeful cynic. The type of cynic who feels existential dread and optimism equally. In my earlier years, I was much more on the cynical end of the spectrum. But damn it, it’s hard living exclusively as that person. Being that version of myself 24 hours a day was tiresome. Grueling even. What I realize now is that my reason for valuing pessimism over hope was simply fear. I feared stepping out of my comfort zone, and I scoffed at the people who did so. I feared the judgment that might await me from my fellow cynics and skeptics if they saw me gravitating toward a bundle of sage, which I now light every day in my apartment.

What was the point of being so caught up in negative, hypothetical scenarios? I eventually saw that all this was doing was denying me some simple (and admittedly silly) pleasures. Pleasures that would ultimately make me happier.

Now, I’m at the point where I think it’d just be nice if the sage really had some sort of protective power, and if my ex being a Virgo really was the reason we couldn’t work things out. Sometimes we need to engulf ourselves in that sort of fantasy. It’s akin to having that lucky jersey you wear on game day, hoping your team wins because of it. I am of the belief that most of us need, on some level, a belief that there is something working outside of us. So no, I don’t pray or practice religion, or think the vibrations of a pretty rock can cure my allergies. However, I am open to the possibility of life being more than what we see. Even though I also acknowledge that there’s a good chance it’s not.

Despite my openness (or hope), I am quick to call bullshit on self-labeled healers, mediums, and mystics. I don’t support people who use deception and trickery to take advantage of people who are in weak emotional or physical states. But, to see a psychic once in a while for $15 just so someone other than your best friend says you’re definitely going to get that promotion? To hand over some cash to sit with a couple rocks and truly believe you’re calmer? I am open to the fantasy of seeing the future while staying grounded in the placebo effect.

Living in a world where nothing is strictly black and white gives me hope. I want there to be a wide array of possibilities versus only one. It’s why we gamble even though we know the chances of winning. We think we might have luck on our side. My psychic may not actually see the future, but in some way, like any person who’s lived a different life than me, she knows some things I don’t and I want to hear her out.