Reflections: Fate / Destiny vs Free Will

Sometimes I come off as overly logical using reasoning and analysis in my decision making. Once in a while I listen to the little voice inside that drives my intuition and gun instinct and make my decision about things that way. However, through it all… I’ve always believed that if things are meant to be then there will be a path set for them to happen.

I guess you can say that I believe in fate and destiny in a way. I look into tarot and astrology, store the knowledge garnered from these into that mental file cabinet and take the memories back out at leisure to analyse when something significant as come to pass. One thing I’ve always argued with myself it’s: how can you justify the notion of “free will” when you’re saying that everyone has a purpose, a fate, a destiny set before them.

The truth is, I can’t. It’s the same thing as faith, I can’t justify it, I can’t reason it, it just is. If someone is meant to be a part of your life, it would naturally happen, on its own time, when it is ready… try to push the situation and you are likely to force it away from you to the point of no return.

There are two real situations that I can say that the notion of fate/destiny was what drove them to their ultimate conclusion:
1) working as an engineer
2) being friends with someone

The first is easier for most people to argue, “you graduated in engineering, so you were going to be an engineer when you graduated.” No, not really… when I graduated I wanted nothing to do with engineering, I hated the thought… I wanted out. I didn’t want to deal with the stress of being in the industry, dealing with the people, being a part of “Corporate America”, it felt like something was going to suck my soul and I would never get it back. In essence I would become a drone which is worse than being Borg in my book.

So I made a point of working in academics, became an academic adviser / counselor… focused on helping people. I hated where I worked, I felt like I was selling out, but the notion of being an engineer sickened me even more. Eventually the position I held within the online university evolved into analysing transcripts, aka data analysis, and I enjoyed that even more. Over time, the environment at my workplace was so bad that working on transcripts and the co-workers I hung out with became the only refuge I had… I took up ballroom dancing and working out as a way to balance my feelings of the job I was in. I introduced a friend to a community theatre group nearby my home and realized how much I enjoyed being on stage… it was a very stressful and evolving time period for me. For it was then that I learned that my job, my career should never be number one priority in my life, that I was spending a couple of years hiding behind my workload.

It was via a family acquaintance that a position opened up at an engineering firm, as a drafter… I made a point of saying that I didn’t want to be an engineer, that as long as I stayed in drafting I’ll be happy. I talked to the connection and he talked to his contact and agreed that I would come in as a drafter and I would be happy with that. Thus how I came to work in the company I worked in now… except there was one problem: I graduated in engineering, in electrical engineering and they were in dire need of electrical engineers. DAMMIT.

Thus how I became an engineer… almost against my will… I fought for a few years from becoming an engineer, making a point of looking for jobs in other fields. But always I said to myself, “if I’m meant to be an engineer at some point in my life… it’ll happen, but it will happen with me kicking and screaming and fighting every step of the way.”

I could have changed my major in university if I hated it that much, but the truth of the matter was that I’m a fighter, I have a stronger fear of failure than most people I know. I’ve been kicked out of the university twice in my college career because my grades fell below expectations but I argued, persuaded and negotiated with the Dean of Engineering… both times, to give me a waiver and I would wipe the slate clean in one shot. Yes, I have known how it is to fail, and I’ve also known how to rise above from failure.

The second example deals with a friend that I met via ballroom dance lessons, we were good friends back then, but over time things happened that drove us apart. For a few years I didn’t know where she was or how to contact her, but in the end I decided that if we were meant to be friends… somehow, someway fate/life/whatever would provide an opportunity for that to happen.

That opportunity occurred when we both auditioned for the same show for the theatre group that I first introduced her too… little did I know how much her life has changed since then, I didn’t know if she would be open to the possibility of hearing my out as to what may have happened (because by this time I had a very good idea of how we were driven apart). I decided to take my chance and talked to her and her then-bf and now husband. I told her what happened, why I reacted the way I reacted and how I’m sorry she got into the middle of it all.

I had no way of knowing how she would react, but I decided that if we were never going to be friends again, I will at least being able to walk away with the knowledge that I took a stand and told her what was on my mind. A few years later… we are even stronger friends now than we were years ago.

Looking back, we may have been friends again eventually… but who knows when that would have happened. I took a chance and just left it up to fate/life/whatever to decide if we’re meant to be friends or not. I had the free will of talking to her or not, but ultimately it is out of my hands.

The reason I’m reflecting on these situations now is because I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago, and I told him that I believed in fate… I believe that if I’m meant to be something, meant to do something other than what I’m doing now, it’ll happen. It doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on my laurels and do nothing, on the contrary, I would continue doing what I’m doing now… submit works to festivals, and see how far I could push for the things that I would like to have or would like to do… but in the end I’m content with what I have now, everything else is just gravy on top.

I understand when someone doesn’t believe in the notion of fate or destiny, and I’m not going to argue with their beliefs. I do believe in free will and I do believe that by doing nothing you can’t expect to get what you want, but at the same time I also do believe that there are just some things that we are meant to do, and what that is would come on its own time and on its own accord… and all we can do is just live life to the fullest and continue opening presents as they comes a-calling… maybe.

So for me… I believe everyone has something(s) that they are meant to do or become, but they would never come to pass if they don’t put the time and effort to make it happen. For nothing will ever come to pass and nothing will be done if no work is put into the effort.

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