You Vs. Fate

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It’s nice to envision yourself as the master of your future. To feel as if the power is in your hands, and you make the decisions. But do you really call the shots, or are forces of nature beyond your control in charge of everything? When you seek someone or something, does that entity take you by the hand, guiding you safely toward it or rerouting you to whatever it chooses?

One morning you’re at a rest stop, while in the midst of pursuing a dream. You spot a gut-wrenching figure. A dark silhouette standing across the way, gazing in your direction. It’s Fate. You may shift around some, just to clarify that you’re actually the focal point of Fate’s stare. His piercing eyes follow your every move making you well aware of the potential storm coming your way. Based on appearance alone, you can tell that this isn’t the pleasant version of Fate. This isn’t the friendly tour-guide, helpful Fate you’d like to interact with. No, he looks much different than that. This Fate is here to throw monkey wrenches in plans and extinguish fiery passions. You stare him in the eye and return a glance that matches his intensity tenfold, letting it be known — you’re not afraid.

Fate’s gaze continues, infatuated with your every move. Unfortunately he’s standing in the way of the path you were headed down, toward your dream. You decide that you must escape, running in the opposite direction. He’s probably furious, but it doesn’t matter — you’ve got to get away. You’re not even sure exactly where you’re headed, but you place one foot in front of the other and perform a full blown sprint away from Fate’s dark, eerie figure.

Where you wind up is typically a safe haven. A place that you feel Fate won’t know to find you. It’s there that you regroup, creating blueprints. These schematics appear flawless on paper, so you’re certain you can get away. Then you fill a bag with sufficient supplies and necessities, fully prepared to complete this journey regardless of any traps Fate has set along the way.

And you’re off, encountering a dim, dangerous looking forest. It’s frightening, yes – but not nearly as scary as the thought of abandoning your dream. It serves as the first real test. You know you’ve ignored Fate’s lingering stare, yet you’re entering the unsafe, shadowy forest regardless. In a way that’s a testament to your love for this thing you’re seeking, which is actually quite admirable. It’d be easy to see how sketchy the forest appears, and take a quick trip back to the rest stop Fate waited for you at, but you’re taking a risk — and that’s brave of you.

Along this journey there is a foul stink that fills your nostrils, pungent enough to induce watering eyes. When you look around you realize that it’s a result of the rotting supplies of those who attempted to make this journey before you. Perhaps they were too scared so they quit, leaving behind their belongings and abandoning their dreams.

As you make progress down the dark path there are screeches uncomfortable enough to make most reconsider. You continue walking steadily, but it feels as if somebody’s watching you. You brought a hatchet along for this trip, so you grip it tightly, using it to slice dangling branches along the way. More importantly, it gives you some peace of mind as you work your way through this hellacious environment. Wretched screams continue, startling you from time the time, but never fully breaking your focus. Your caution pays off when you spot a trap, obviously prepared by Fate. It was a sign intended to direct you off trail. Had you not recognized it, you’d be back following the path he wants, not the lane you know you want to be in.

Finally, after a long day’s trip you see some light. You hack your way through vines and hurry toward the first sign of escaping this place. Closer you get, until finally you’ve broken free. One problem. The light shines far too bright for your fresh out of the dark, extra sensitive pupils. It takes a few moments to adjust but you squint and blink, attempting to focus. When vision finally returns, you see that you’ve made great progress. That you’re as close as you’ve ever been to your dreams. After a long day of running, you’re within range of arriving at your destination.

It’s almost nightfall, so you make the wise decision to avoid traveling in the darkness. You find comfort in an abandoned shed; taking time to reflect on your journey and anticipate reaching your dream in the very near future. At some point your exhaustion outweighs your excitement and you manage to doze off for a moment.

You wake in a cold sweat and panic, unsure why you’re so alarmed. You make sure everything is fine, your belongings are still there and nobody’s taken the supplies you need to finish the journey. You clarify that you’ve got everything necessary. All appears to be fine — and then you consider what woke you. It wasn’t a dream, or a random, sudden waking — it was a bump. You remember this because you hear another one like it. The bump turns to a knock, which evolves to a thud. The sound is against the walls of the shed, echoing loudly as if it’s coming from all sides. The noise has grown to a constant bang, as if someone — or something is hitting your shelter. You’ve come too far to be scared now, it’s time for a confrontation. You grab your trusty hatchet, proceeding with caution towards the door. The knocks calm as you inch closer to the exit.

You quickly swing the door open. Nobody is there, so you wait for a moment… Suddenly you hear the sound of footsteps in gravel. They are fast paced. Whatever is approaching is walking with a purpose. And then, from the side of the shed he emerges, striding directly towards you. It’s fate. Take a step back. Stumble. Fall. Get back up and try to run. His pace is too fast; he reaches out for you as you let out a scream. A shriek so loud that it startles Fate himself. He pulls back a bit, looking directly in your eyes. Frustrated, you ask, What do you want from me, Fate? I saw you following me at the rest stop, staring at me as if you were going to chase me down.

Fate will chuckle, having a good laugh in your face before responding: Chase you down? No, I myself was shocked to see you all the way at the rest stop this morning, when I knew we had a meeting here tonight.

It’s then you’ll realize that the earth is huge, to the point that we believe we can get away from anyone, or anything. We genuinely feel as if we can outrun Fate. So we sprint as fast as we can, as far as we can, finding a place we believe is safe — and on the path toward our desires. And sure you can do this whole running business, being very cautious along the way, but are you really out of Fate’s grasps? Or are we ignoring the disheartening fact that our destiny is decided by larger powers. The universe is large, but we as individuals are spectacles. And Fate is already waiting for us at the places we don’t even know we’re headed. TC Mark

image – ShutterStock

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