You will fall for people who won’t love you back. You will change cities and feel lost. You will apply for jobs that fall through. You will chase dreams that fade, give your heart to people who run, pray for rain and feel helpless as a storm washes you right off your feet.
You will find yourself in foreign places, desperate for the familiar. You will watch loved ones hurt and ache, and you will feel your own pain in places you never thought you would. You will try, so desperately to understand, and life won’t always make sense.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, choose, or say, or chase, or change, the pieces won’t fit.
You can give all that you have to a relationship and watch as it slips right out of your grasp. You can spend hours upon hours agonizing over a project that doesn’t turn out to be as miraculous as you once hoped. You can do everything in your power to save, to fix, to mend what’s been broken, and yet, you can still watch it crinkle like tissue paper beneath your fingertips, permanently imperfect.
Sometimes, things just won’t make sense, won’t become what you wanted them to be, won’t play out as planned.
And you can take a look at yourself first and try to change your role in the mess. You can be inward-focused, working on the parts of you that may have caused bits and pieces to fall through. You can look to change, look to improve, look to yourself to shoulder some of the responsibility.
But you have to understand that sometimes you can do everything in your power to make something happen, and it’s just not meant to be. You can give yourself to a person, to a circumstance, to a situation, and end up empty, simply because it wasn’t meant for you.
And this is not your fault.
You can’t always blame yourself when the person you care about doesn’t feel the same way. You can’t always point fingers at your own soul when the relationship comes to an end, when he or she decides to go separate ways, when defeat comes knocking at your door. You can’t always carry the burden of what doesn’t happen, of what didn’t work out.
Failure and disappointment don’t have to be your self-definition.
You are not responsible for the way the world moves and shifts, for how situations change, for someone’s choice to walk away or stop believing in something you still have faith in.
You are not to blame for every little thing that doesn’t go your way.
Because life does not move according to you, according to any of us. Life moves as it pleases, molding to fate, to the cosmos, to the higher powers we believe in, to the choices and circumstances and weather patterns and strangeness of the universe.
We are not in control. We cannot make every little piece of our puzzling lives come together. We cannot force people to love like we love, or feel what we feel. We cannot make each other understand the beating of our hearts, even if we fully show ourselves to them.
We cannot alter what happens in this life other than to fight for what we feel and learn, even in our brokenness, to let go, to heal.
And so, you cannot blame yourself for when he walks away, for when she stops fighting, for when the job falls through or the city feels strange or the best-laid plans turn to mush at your feet. You cannot shoulder the burden of every torn connection, broken dream, shattered promise, storm that has taken your happiness and blown it two thousand miles away.
You must be responsible for your part, but find peace in knowing there is so much that you cannot control. You must find comfort in the acceptance of what is, rather than forever seeking what could have been. You must look back to learn, and look forward to hope. You must try to love yourself, even when your life is messy. You must shake the heaviness from your shoulders and be willing, and open to starting again. You must allow yourself to heal and know that you are not always at fault for what happens.
Sometimes pieces of this life just don’t go the way we want them to, and perhaps, in time, we will understand why.