Monthly Archives: March 2012

Are we right to believe in fate?

'She couldn't help but wonder what was next...'

"She couldn't help but wonder what was next... and that she probably should have put some suncream on"

I confess to being one of the most sentimental people I know. I hoard, I cling onto nostalgic memories, I whip my camera out at any given moment, I’m useless at letting go, getting over, I don’t throw anything away, and above all, I hate change. As strange as it sounds, my one saving grace is that I’m a firm believer that we have limited control over our futures. If I didn’t believe in fate, I would be helplessly stuck in the past.

The combination of my sentimentality and my belief in fate has produced a prolonged ‘live for the moment’ kind of attitude. However, I’ve come to learn that such an attitude is not only a huge cliché it’s also a tad dangerous. If I struggle with letting go of the past and I feel that the future is taken care of, I’m at risk of hanging around the limbo that is ‘the present’, for far too long. Obviously, the present quickly becomes the past, and soon, the future and its promises become obliterated to the point of no return. Ok, so I’m being a bit dramatic, but as someone who is attempting to venture into the world post-graduation, it’s all good practice to start taking things seriously.

Like most things, the need for balance is key. Here’s where the whole head and heart issue comes into play. As a sentimental person, I am a ‘follow your heart’ kind of person. As a believer of fate, I am a ‘follow that feeling’ kind of person. In other words, I never follow my head. Which is strange for somebody who thinks so much about everything, I know. I’ve got quite a nice brain. I need to remember to use it more effectively sometimes. The thing about fate is that it should be a product of our decisions, not the thing that influences them. I guess believing in fate but not living by it, remembering the past from a distance, and thinking before acting, all combine to make me some sort of, well, adult.

There is a great sense of irresponsibility that comes with believing in fate, like the whole ‘what’s meant to be will be’ philosophy. Better to think of it as ‘what’s meant to be will be, but only if I make it happen’. As much as being irresponsible and careless is fun, there comes a point where it all has to stop. There’s a fine line between being careless and carefree. One encapsulates selfishness, and the other leaves room for optimism, the inclusion of others, and most importantly, escapism. I’ve always been one to define such a gap, freedom is important in every sense. However, being carefree shouldn’t be a lifestyle, it should be an occasional pastime. After all, isn’t that why we all enjoy a drink (or seven) in the pub so much? Your brain deserves a little break from time to time, but only when you’ve earned it.

I’m always going to be sentimental. I’ll probably still own everything I do now when I’m 80. Including the shoeboxes full of old Valentine’s cards, theatre tickets, compilation albums and photographs. I’m always going to believe in fate. Maybe not as much as when I was younger, but certainly to the extent that some of the things that are due to happen to me are completely beyond my control. I guess what I’m trying to say is that as much as some things happen to let other things happen, it’s up to you to be the driving force behind it all. The idea of fate makes the future less daunting, and gives the past more reason. Don’t waste time trying to make sense of it all, for nonsense is the beauty of life.

Get out there and make things happen for yourself, just remember to use your head a little bit whilst you do so.