Thought Catalog

What Happens After What Was “Supposed To Be”

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We all have a strange penchant for holding on to what we think should be in our lives, even when it clearly is not what’s going to work out. Try to lessen that grip and it’s like we lose all these ideas about who we are: we torture ourselves with what we think “should be.” And we’re a bit wishy washy with the idea of believing in fate anyway– sometimes we’re all about life delivering to us what it will, but when something terrible shows up at our door… not so much. We start to wonder if we would be better off doing things for ourselves. So we try to take control.

We take it upon ourselves to discern what should and shouldn’t be in our lives. What we should and shouldn’t do and exactly what it will look like. Every step. Even when we see it start to fall apart, we hold on to every little piece and try to put it back together, but to no avail. That’s the most frustrating part: no matter how many times you try to put it back together, it falls again. And before you know it, you’re being forced to stop trying.

We don’t usually know what’s best for us. What is given to us can be absolutely wonderful or it can be what is going to help us learn and develop. One way or another, it’s all worth something. You just have to learn to let go of attaching yourself to ideas and titles and labels and categorizations that make you feel more comfortable about who you are and what you’re meant to do. It becomes more limiting than defining. Remember when we were kids and we always used to talk about our favorite colors and what sports teams we did and didn’t like and which member of a pop band we liked the most? We had to talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up and how many kids we wanted to have and what we wanted to name them and how many girls and boys we’d have. Things we realize now are subject to change frequently or are mostly out of our control.

We’re still doing it, too. Just not so loudly. Because in little ways, we’re still holding onto those ideas of what we’re supposed to do and be. But the truth is, those things change. They’re always changing. We are never stagnant. I am not who I was yesterday, forget about a year ago. You have to give yourself enough room to grow into who you are and then not be so attached to it that you won’t let yourself become who you’re going to be.

Things didn’t work out because, well, greater things were in the works. It’s so difficult while we’re blind and hurting and don’t know which way is up. But, if you have faith in anything, have faith in the fact that the universe has a beautiful way of straightening things out far better than we ever could. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful– or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to. TC mark

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