I believe in fate. (I had to slide into my coat closet and check over both shoulders before writing that.) I was trained with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and the scientists and academicians who reared me through intellectual maturation might cringe, but I believe this statement defines me better than any other.
My dearest friend — also my most intellectual and open-minded — finds this baffling and absurd. I have few colleagues and family members who feel the same way I do (though judging by the self-help section at the local bookstore, I’m clearly not alone). I lost both of my parents by age 20 and inherited a sizable obsession with developing a terminal illness, dying with an unfinished life, and orphaning my future children. But while reflecting on my impending 30th birthday, it occurred to me that a fairy tale ending might be just as likely as a dramatic one, and if I have a choice between embracing either of the two, I’d rather spend my time with the former — even if it turns out that I’m wrong.
I believe that there is, what my intellectual friend calls, a greater architect — someone or something, God or fate or destiny or what have you, that can see the bigger picture. I am a vital part of that picture, good or bad. It’s what guides me now as I take the leap away from psychology and into starting my own business. It’s what keeps me dreaming of some day having my own family and again being a part of a unit joined by more than just our last names. It’s what makes me grateful for every breath, every sneeze, every blink, every sigh. I exist and am because I deeply believe there is a system to everything, albeit a confusing and, at times, frustratingly cryptic one.
I have been told this is denial or self-created reassurance to help me sleep at night and keep me from facing the stark realities of life. I watched my father clumsily attempt CPR on my mother while she lay dying on their bedroom floor. I think I’m entitled to sleep at night, and I have faced my fair share of life’s realities. And while I am somewhat hurt by the dismissiveness of such accusations, I don’t deny their truth. Believing in fate may very well be equated with believing in denial and in delusions and in lies, but I don’t mind. To me, it is also believing in strength and in persistence and in living. I believe in fate because I believe in myself.
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