Fate – Do you believe?
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Fate - Do you believe? Illustration

Fate – Do you believe?

I found something recently whilst sifting through some old crap, a scrap of paper written by a 14 year old me to a friend in response to being asked if I believed in fate…

“I believe, in the sense that life puts things on our path but we control the outcome, our own ‘destiny’ with the choices we make. We can make the same mistakes over and over, or learn from them, make different choices. Every experience, good or bad is preparing us for something else, another opportunity to choose, perhaps for the better. So fate is real, but it’s determined by what we choose not something random or all powerful we can’t influence.”

What a deep, innocent, insightful little prick I was back then. 26 years on, I couldn’t fault mini-me, naive perhaps to think that outside influence wouldn’t test that theory and that the rest of the world would share such an idealistic approach to life. But there-in lies the beauty of the journey – diversity, opinion, beliefs, faith, tragedy, suffering…finding this scrap of paper written by a much younger version of me brought a smile to my face.

Looking back over my life since, I can clearly see this sentiment has been a stubborn feature throughout, through every adventure, through every low point, every high, every challenge, every chance taken and every choice made. A constant core value my subconscious leaned on to reign me in and keep me moving. Keep faith in myself. On the outcome, and the future.

I’m really not sure why I’m even sharing this with the world, all the self-involved bullshit that seems to dominate these days is exactly what makes me fantasise about a time when we didn’t even have ‘social’ media, and to be social meant you had to ‘go knock’ for said friend rather than be at the worlds constant beck and call and merely a digital poke away.

A time when this sentiment was first conceived. You may say this ironically fits in with the pre-mentioned self-centred social media etiquette, self-absorption personified. I can’t really argue with it, I am the author after all. You may even think ‘this guys frickin’ nuts and clearly having some kind of midlife crisis’ doing this. Sorry to disappoint, already had that (and yes the truck is still fucking awesome.)

It’s simply a nice sentiment, something that reminded me of a few things at a time I really needed it – that as humans – we’re generally good at heart. We can be kind, we can love, we can be brave and strong, hopeful. We can make the right choices both for ourselves and every other fucker out there, regardless of how difficult something may seem and despite the bullshit and outside influence we all carry each day.

So many people out there deal with way worse shit than I’ve ever had to in my life, so this sentiment may not even touch the sides. In reality it is not this simple. It doesn’t account for the butterfly effect, the tiniest of choices, finding ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Trusting the wrong people. Being let down by other people. Hurt by other people.

But I wanted to share this on the off chance that between all the fake news, tragic examples of human existence, the division, persecution, hate, wars, inequality and self-obsession that we see everyday, that someone somewhere may need the same reminder that I did from finding this 14 year old’s take on life – be true to yourself, follow your heart, be real, be brave, take chances, say yes, say no, stand up and have a voice. Fight, for what matters.

I think it’s a good thing to listen to our inner-child, it’s so often the best of us, what we can lose in the shit storm that life throws our way.

It’s not always easy to make the right choices in life, but perhaps trusting the innocence and love of our deeper selves is a good place to start.

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