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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Questions of Fate

Though I am not typically a fan or a believer in fate, there are times I wonder if I'm horribly, horribly wrong. Is there something that guides our choices, sets things out before us and makes sure that everything happens as it should? Do we have our lives almost entirely planned out for us already, and if we do, does that mean we should just sit back and let it take it's course? Do we really have a say in what we do? And are things that people often call "fated" really and truly fated to us?

Questions like these always seem big and important, and often somewhat pretentious if not asked properly, and I wonder, is it something a 16-year-old can really answer? The question of fate. The dealings of the universe. All that stuff you're never really sure you want answered. Can I tackle it? Can I actually answer it? Or am I left to just make a few simple, probably wrong, most likely idiotic but educated guesses?

In truth, a 16-year-old probably can't answer these questions, most of the time no one can answer these questions. But, as a 16-year-old sitting in her room in the middle of the night when she should be sleeping, I can give it a guess.

Let me be clear that I hate fate. I hate the concept of it, I hate the idea of it, I hate the idea that something is predetermined and that nothing you can do can change it. It's not a control thing, it's not a rebellious thing, it's just not something I'm comfortable with. I've never believed in it before, and for the most part, I think I probably never will. But occasionally I'll wonder, I'll really wonder, if I'm wrong. Sometimes things work out in such a way that you really do wonder if it was meant to be that way.

Take this, up until today I've had virtually one goal in mind; to see David Tennant in Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon this August. I've been working for it, thinking about it, plotting for it, and generally obsessing about if for a good half a year now. A while back, an opportunity arose where such a spectacular feat might have actually been possible. We had it all worked out, and then suddenly, it failed. It broke apart underneath me, and now it will never, ever, in a million years, ever happen.

Needless to say, I was crushed. Like REALLY really crushed. I'm horribly depressed, sitting in my room, when all of a sudden I discover, not only the song I've been looking desperately for to sing at my school's Solo and Ensemble Concert, but also the mysterious second Doctor Who Album that I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for since September. Both of which mysteriously appeared on my computer, in iTunes, a mere two hours after my wildest dreams were pulled away from me.

I find it interesting that despite the fact that I could never find these things before, these things I wanted so desperately, yet suddenly, the day the one thing I want disappears, they appear.

It's instances like these I find myself questioning my previous thoughts of fate. Can something this interesting, this coincidental, really have happened purely by chance? Is it possible for this to be just a coincidence? Or is it something more? Was I fated to find these things the day I have all my hopes of ever seeing David Tennant as Hamlet shatter, perhaps to cheer me up? Or is, as I previously suspected, merely chance?

It's another moment I find myself struggling between two completely different sides of myself. My mother is the world's greatest skeptic. We call her the "disenchantress" and obviously, as most parents do to their children, she's influenced me in this way. I'm highly skeptical about somethings, but then there's also the other side of me. I'm not sure if it comes from my Dad, or if it's just me, but I also have a tendency to want to believe in the unbelievable. When I was a kid I believed in fairies, now that I'm a teenager, I don't know what to believe. So many conflicting opinions around me, so many things I'm questioning, so many things I'm sure I can listen to.

As I said, this is most likely not something your average 16-year old should be handling. The question of fate, the way life works, it's something you should leave to some famous philosopher, or some high priest, or some kind of weird earthly God-like character. One sleepless 16-year-old should not be deciding this.

In the end, we may never know. And for the moment, I think I'm ok with that.




Anonymous said...

I hate fate too. I also dislike the term "believe". What does it mean anyway? Perhaps brilliant philosophers are just as befuddled as you are. Perhaps fate is one of those things that limits knowledge. Guess who.

Nelly The Pretender said...

Personally, I've always thought fate limits knowledge. It makes you think you can sit there and let it all happen, stops you from going out there and experiencing it all for yourself. It was Calvin who was all for fate and predestination, right? I have a feeling I'd make a very bad Calvinist.

And yes, we know who you are. :p

Anonymous said...

I'd be a terrible Calvinist. I like to say that I don't beleive in fate, only coincidental irony. If that makes any sense. And by "limiting knowledge", I mean that we are really limited on how much we can possible know about fate. It's one of those hypothetical things, you know? Like the meaning of life. We may never know. So your opinion could be as valid as a brilliant philosopher's. Yeah... Hi!

Anonymous said...

Well, i do not think fate prevents anything. I think it is what people make out of their fate. Take oedipus for example he was a tragic hero who befell his fate because he always kept running from it. He Never took the time to step back and see his predestined future was really the past and that his fate never just ended with him killing his father and marrying his mother. Fate is just the way life plays out and everyone has crossroads in which they can make some sort of decision but i more over think of it as a universal principle in which the order of things is presumably prescribed.

Anonymous said...

You know Nelly, I always think about things like this... all the time. I just cant stop, maybe because of the fact what happened to me and the one I love (who doesnt love me anymore). I was only 13 when I stared thinking about such things like fate and answers of the universe/God. Now I'm 14 and I'm still interested. Not because I want to reveal the secrets of universe/fate/God.. but because I want to help myself about how to get on with life when you're stuck.
I dont think anyone would have a right or wrong answer. Even a "profession of fate" if we could call it that way could ever tell why life is the way it is. I think human will never understand, maybe only the times if we die, because I beieve in time after we die. Anyway. It was pleasant to read your story and your thoughts! And I think it's not a thing anyone could answer. I thing each person's own opinion is right for themselves, its just the way we imagine it, because we will never know it anyway.
Ohh, and I love fairies =) I dont really believe in them (although I have a file of drawings)... XD but they are nice beings.


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