Growing up, I often heard common phrases about destiny, especially during times of hardship.
"If it's meant to be, it'll be."
"Everything happens for a reason."
"Eventually all the pieces will fall into place."
And then, of course, there's the famous quote, "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."
Sometimes, when you are sad about something, being told these things is not helpful. Sure, maybe it wasn't meant to be, but it still sucks. You know there might be better out there or that you will eventually learn something from whatever terrible situation you are in, but in the moment you just want to grieve, or mope, or obsess over why things are currently not going your way. You want something to happen, but other people are basically telling you that you are destined for something else. In the moment, it is hard to hear "everything happens for a reason" and feel positive about it. Your head might know it, but at that moment your heart is hurting.
At the same time, it can sometimes be comforting to think that everything will eventually work out. If you've studied as hard as you can for an exam, telling yourself that you have done everything possible and the future will work itself out no matter what can be the saving grace that allows you to actually get a good night's sleep.
I often find myself wondering if it is better to believe you have a destined path or instead believe that your path is formed solely by the actions you choose to take.
I always figured that the summer between my junior and senior year of college I would take an internship somewhere I hadn't lived before, just for the experience. It was always part of my little life plan I pictured in my head but didn't admit to anyone. Now, because I am adding a journalism minor, I have to take summer classes in order to graduate on time, which means I will be in Raleigh again for the summer. While I was not extremely upset by this outcome, I did feel a little disappointed. Did this happen because I was somehow meant to be in Raleigh this summer even though I wanted to be somewhere else?
A few months ago, my friend debated on whether or not she was going to text the boy she liked. I told her that if she wanted to make something happen she should, but she sarcastically replied that fate would put them together if she was truly meant to be with him.
While she was being sarcastic in her answer, in a way, she had a point. Perhaps both fate and your own decisions play a part in forming your path in life. For example, maybe I was meant to have a love of writing, but because I chose to add a minor my junior year my intended path was altered. There are probably several courses my life could take that lead to me writing professionally, but each one of them is different based on the decisions I make.
You could feel that you are destined to be with a person because of your connection or compatibility, and maybe fate did ensure that you cross paths with them. Perhaps there really is someone that you are destined to meet who has the possibility to change your life. But if neither one of you speaks up, either out of fear or because you are both banking on the fact you are "meant to be," then you will eventually run out of chances.
Maybe fate can only do so much, and after a certain point, it's up to you.