Is everything in your life already mapped out for you?


Many people believe in fate. They believe in the fact that everything happens for a reason. Other people don’t. They believe in free will and in the notion that your actions dictate your own future.

As I read the Sophocles Trilogy, it really brought up the subject of fate for me. I often pondered at night whether or not our lives are predetermined. I wondered if my future was already set in stone and I read many stories about things happening for a reason and that nothing was a coincidence. This led me to start to believe in things happening for a reason.

But then this thought lead to another train of questions. If everything happens for a reason then why do bad things happen. Why do things like cancer, ebola, AIDs, and HIV exist? Why do people get killed and why do people get these horrible diseases? I really don’t understand how things like being abused, killed, or getting an illness can possibly happen for a reason. I find it hard to believe in fate because that would mean that bad things could happen to you and there is nothing you can do to stop it. To me, that is incredibly terrifying. Is it merely bad luck that makes fate pin this stuff on you? Or is it something else?

If two people are destined to be together, would the universe fight for the two souls to be with one another? Will it do whatever it takes for these two people to end up together? Some things are just much too strange and too strong to only be coincidences, so it must be fate. If two people are fated to be with one another, does that mean that they will end up together? Can anything ever get in the way of their future together? When people say that “if it’s meant to be, it will be”, do they actually believe that that is true or is it just a superstition. If you love someone and you let them go, and then they later return to you, is that destiny working to bring you both back together? Or is it just chance that brings you back together?

But then I read articles and stories about deciding your own future. Aren’t people supposed to create their own fate? Is that not what life is about? Living your life, doing all the things that you want to, and thus creating your future… If fate truly does exist then are our choices not our own? I also wondered about how a person changes and grows if their fate remains the same their entire life. When fate exists, would that mean free will is nonexistent? Can both fate and free will exist together? Or is it a one or another kind of thing.

Another question that stuck in the back of mind, constantly bugging me was if I had the opportunity to see my fate (as in how my life would play out, who I would marry, what my job would be, what hardships I would face, how I would die..) would I really want to? If I did and I found put that something bad would happen to me, wouldn’t I just be living in constant fear, knowing that all these horrible things WILL happen to me one day? Wouldn’t it be better, for the sake of the well-being of my mind, for me to just remain ignorant of my fate and leave it as one big journey that I have to go on? But what if I want to be aware of what happens in my future so that I can mentally prepare and brace myself for it? Would that be better?

I found this poem that was amazing and its basically reiterating what is going on in my head but in a prettier and more poetic way.

Fate vs free will

Is our path laid out before us,

or is it something that we choose?

Are we guaranteed a victory,

is success just ours to lose?

How much free will do we have,

if any after all,

it seems when things are on the up,

that is when we fall.

Is that the way its meant to be?

A life of ups and downs,

ever shifting waters,

in which we’re doomed to drown?

Or do the choices that we make,

determine how life goes?

I’d like to think this is the case,

but who amongst us knows?

At this point, I am really unsure about whether or not I actually believe in fate. As I read more and more things with clashing opinions, it is causing my own opinion to become conflicted. At times, the idea of fate sounds really ridiculous and other times it sounds plausible. I mean, again, if fate truly does exist then why do bad things happen.

The biggest question of all for me is if fate truly does exist, then what happens if we are destined to fail. Are we supposed to just accept our doom and live with it? What occurs if our fate leads us to our own downfall? Is there any way we can possibly reverse this? Or is that it; were we born just to die?

Here is another poem that I found about not being able to escape fate. I thought it was really beautifully written so I thought to just include it for you all.

My Fate in the Sea

I watched the sea as it grew dark, the light it shined but not too dark, fading from the clandestine spots, I see the sea just fall apart. What makes it grow or even die, this endless piece just takes my eyes, I cannot escape the growing fate, the holding cell’s about to break.

Honestly, this idea of fate is kind of super scary for me. It makes me feel as though I am a robot and my life is not actually my own, but rather a life that someone else has drawn up for me. Somehow, it makes me feel as if I am a prisoner, imprisoned in a life I did not choose.

I found another story and this is really what swayed my opinion. I love this piece so much and it blows my mind every time I read it.

The head of a company survived 9/11 because his son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her alarm clock didn’t go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident.

One of them missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.

One’s car wouldn’t start.

One couldn’t get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.

That is why he is alive today..

Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to answer a ringing telephone…

All the little things that annoy me, I think to myself, this is exactly where I’m meant to be at this very moment.

In the end I came to a conclusion that makes sense to me even though this idea of fate is a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around because it is so complicated. I do believe in fate; I think that some things truly do happen and occur for reason. I also believe that we can make different choices, however these choices are already predestined for us. Basically, we cannot make choices other than what is destined for us. So technically speaking, we do have free will of some sort, just limited to what our fate is supposed to be. I think that everything that happens in our lives is meant to be and that it is not just a coincidence. I hope I am making sense but I don’t think I am because this is such a complex idea for me and my mind is not great enough to really comprehend of it.

Thanks so much for reading and I will see you all next week!

 *This was a collaboration with Britney Tran*

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