Destiny? Pre-determined fate? Or is it just me against the world
| There's a famous song that I'm sure most of us have heard while growing up; the lyrics are something like this:
"Que sera sera
What will be, will be"
To be honest, this was something I believed to be true for quite a while. It's not surprising really. Most of us have grown up in an environment that has inundated us with this belief. The concept of 'what will be will be' and 'if it was meant to happen, it will,' has always been a constant reminder to me that I am only human and that some things are 'just meant to be.'
I harboured a secretive (everyone except the guy I liked knew about my passionate love for him) crush on a classmate for the last few years in high-school, and though I never told him or did anything about it, I hoped and wished that someday a 'miracle' would happen and he would realise that I was his 'true love.'
To my trepidation, that never happened. Mournfully, I blamed it on the 'fates' and consoled myself by saying that if it was 'meant to be,' it would. It did not strike me at that point, that despite my unfeigned love for him, I had done nothing but gaze at him and imagine what it would be like when we would be together, and then lament the tragedy of the situation. What I did not realise was that I wanted him to be in love with me without my having to do anything to make it so. I was so consumed by my foolish school girl crush on him that I wanted 'us'; never mind that I would not do anything to make it happen.
Realisation dawned slowly, but nevertheless, thankfully, it did dawn a few years later.Â
We were not 'meant to be,' I surmised. There would be 'someone' else I hoped.
When I think of movies, books, television series and the content we're exposed to these days, I feel that a lot of it can be highly influential. Since there seems to be so much of it, there is no getting away. I read a lot of books growing up and I realised that what I was reading was actually affecting the way I thought. I recall that I was particularly influenced by 'The Princess Diaries' by Meg Cabot. To my 14 year old mind, Princess Mia, the heroine of the series, was 'just like me.' I identified with her insecurities, her self image issues, her reluctance accept the responsibility of being a princess, her school girl crushes and even her dressing style.
I started thinking like her, and this, I now realise, was not a healthy trend. An insecure, self-obsessed 14 year old princess was the most inappropriate idol for another foolish 14 year old. Undoubtedly, it was ridiculous how I had allowed myself to get carried away so much. My mother's refusal to buy the entire series (ten books in all) saying it was 'ridiculously overpriced', thankfully, put an end to my obsession.
I also think it was fortunate that I when I first laid hands on a Silhouette book, I found it be absolute tosh and was convinced even I could pen down a couple of scintillating best sellers since all they needed were a sexy damsel in distress, a distressing situation and handsome stranger to rescue her from aforementioned distressing situation.
And yet, when I think about it, it strikes me that there is far too much of all this candy floss surrounding us. We read it, see it , listen to it, possibly dismiss it; or wish somewhere in the back of our minds that wouldn't it be wonderful if it could be true?
Taylor Swift's song, 'You Belong With Me,' Nora Ephron's 'Sleepless in Seattle,' the ending of any Disney movie, the idea of that perfect kiss with that special person who was 'meant to be,' the ending of that book where the two protagonists share a passionate kiss under the moonlight, Monica and Chandler's proposal, the episode where Barney Stinson gets down on one knee and asks Robin to marry him, the ending of any chick book; this is an endless list.
And let's face it, they're all fuzzy and heartwarming moments; you can't help but 'aww.'
But the problem here is that they represent distorted and incorrect versions of what things really are like. We start believing things like 'trust your feelings,' 'your heart will always know best,' if it was meant to be, it would have happened,' 'the best is yet to come' and 'he's not with you because your knight in shining armour is still out there.'
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Will I am all for self motivation, I also think that it is absolutely necessary to always make an informed, well-thought decision, and not just go with 'what your heart knows is right.'
We live in a harsh world; life is fast paced and rough. In my opinion, believing that everything happens because it should, is a 'spoon-full sugar that helps the medicine go down,' as Julie Andrews sang in 'Mary Poppins.' These thoughts comfort and cushion that rough blow, that disheartening break up, that painful experience, those people who left, that awful thing that should not have happened.
'Make the best of everything that happens,' you will hear a concerned well wisher say to you. 'Things happen for a reason you know,' another will say. 'When the time is right, you will see that there was a reason why all this bad things are happening,' someone will say while patting you on the back.
Until a while ago, defeats and set backs would leave me heartbroken. I would hide in a shell, curl up in bed and analyse everything that went wrong and brood over all that I said. 'Why?' I would ask myself while tearing up, 'Why is this happening to me? I am a good person! I didn't even do anything to deserve that.!' (breaks down and sobs till head hurts and eyes are swollen)
A midst all the crying, wet tissues, head aches, damp pillows and sad songs, a badly phrased sentence came to mind. I can hardly call it a proverb; but poor syntax aside (well, syntax isn't really the problem here; it has just been phrased peculiarly), it made a lot of sense:
Just because you're a vegetarian, doesn't mean the lion will not eat you.
Now, barring all the criticisms that spring to mind (only a man-eating lion would be interested in eating you; a normal one would just maul you and amble away, why would you roam around the jungle defenseless anyway?, only lionesses do all the hunting.... you can add more as you come up with them), this 'quote' really made sense to me.
I think it's quite true when you consider the way life is; life's a bitch, not karma. Things are stupid, the mad and undeserving have everything we want, no one understands anyone anymore, friends fight, nothing's fair, you probably didn't deserve it but it still happened; it might even happen again, that person should fall down a volcano but instead he/she will be here day after day to harass you and most probably end up with everything you wanted, no; that asshole will go his whole life believing that HE broke up with you and that you are probably still hopelessly in love with him, our efforts are disregarded, no one cares, seriously, what is even the point??!
So yes, that hungry lion could not give two lettuce leaves about your vegetarianism or pro-lion activism; if he's hungry, you're dinner, and that's all you'll ever be to him.
He might mumble 'too much roughage,' as he swallows the last morsel; but that's about it.
I know now that nothing ever happens 'for the greater good,' that life is harsh right now because sometime later 'wonderful things are meant to happen,' or 'that the time is not right.'
So instead of accepting all things, I am going to try and change them, or at least do something about them. And maybe that's what destiny really is about; forging your own path, making your own destiny.
Stay away from those lions!