Dear No One: I do(n’t) believe in Destiny

Dear No One, 

I don’t believe in fate, nor do I have a tendency to believe in destiny. I never have, and I probably never will. I’m a materialistic person, I need concrete, preferably physical evidence that something is going to turn out the way I wanted, expected, planned it to. And that’s no jab at students and people who do believe in fate and destiny — I honestly admire having the strength to keep faith in the idea that things will end up the way that they’re supposed to, no matter the disappointments or changes along the way. To trust that fate will guide you towards your destiny. 

But as someone who keeps finding herself unable to do that, having to adapt, amend, or even change my dreams, is an honestly heartbreaking process. 

Yes, I might, in the end, turn out to be happier with the alternative. But it was never supposed to be that way, it was never planned to be that way and — most importantly — I never wanted it to be that way. 

It sounds like a very pessimistic perspective on life. I get that. And so for years, I struggled with that inability to accept different outcomes, that inability to remain positive about the ending. At the same time, I felt like I was focusing on the wrong things in life. Because it’s not about the ending, right? It’s about the journey. 

But screw that. Screw the journey. Screw “the things we learned along the way”. I went on that journey to get somewhere, and if I cannot get there, well, I will surely have some trouble changing the journey I had planned. 

I mean, imagine you’re climbing mountains to get to the top for a beautiful sunset. And when you’re about halfway there, someone comes up to you and tells you that, sorry, you cannot watch the sunset up there, you’ll have to go watch the sunrise down at an island. Will you then thank that person and happily climb down, swim through the sea towards the island, and watch the sunrise? You might, in the end, but if you’re anything like me, your first thoughts are likely to contain disappointment, frustration, and maybe even some angered curse words here and there. 

And that’s okay. 

It’s okay not to have this conviction that it’ll turn out fine. It’s okay to be having trouble adapting. It’s okay to be really, really, really upset that something’s not going the way it should have. And it’s definitely okay to want to choose your own destiny over the one that seems to be forced upon you by changes and events you had not planned for. 

Yes, maybe the sunrise on the island will be beautiful. Maybe swimming in the sea turns out to be an amazing experience. But you can appreciate that part of the journey, even whilst being disappointed that you never got to finish your climb towards the sunset. You can admit that this alternative has perhaps made you happier than the initial plan, even whilst knowing in your heart that you’ll never actually know if the initial plan wouldn’t have made you even happier still. 

Over the past few days, I have been beyond frustrated that a destiny I had chosen for myself — not one selected for me by the universe — is becoming less and less likely the destination at the end of my journey. Something (and I’m blaming the fate I don’t believe in here) is preventing me from reaching what I believed, planned, wanted to be my destiny. It seems that even though I keep finding myself unable to believe in fate or destiny, forces bigger than my own are still determining the journey that I’m on, and the destination that I’m marching towards. And so maybe, I’m not finding myself unable to believe in fate or destiny, but am I finding myself unable to accept that I cannot control my destiny. 

And if that’s the case — and if that’s the case for you too — that is still okay

Whether fate and destiny have anything to do with it or not, it’s okay to be having trouble accepting that you cannot control the entirety of your journey and your destination. 

So, feel free to be disappointed if things change. Feel free to be frustrated about having to adapt. Feel free to hate the journey and care more about the ending. I know I do. 

Just don’t forget that even after all the disappointment, frustration, anger, and hurt, the new ending might still turn out okay. It might still make you happy. 

I might not believe in fate or destiny (or maybe I do), but I do believe that there’s a good side to everything. In the end, I do like to believe it’ll all turn out well. And maybe that’s all the destiny we need. Maybe it’s not about the actual destination, but about whether the destination will make us happy. After all, the journey might not lead the way it was supposed to, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. 






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Images from Unsplash

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