For many of us, friendships are everything, our lifeblood. I think nearly everyone has experienced great losses in their lifetime, though; we’ve all been burned by a friend who we had grown attached or trusted with our heart. It is incredibly hard to trust again, build new friendships, and love people again once you’ve been scorched badly a time or two. When my best friend of over 10 years walked out on me right before Christmas, I went into panic mode: afraid to do anything that might scare away the few other close and lasting friends that I have, worried that I’d be left alone in the dark before long. I was certain that nothing would ever be the same again, that I would never be able to stand tall again and brave the world alone. After all, how does one recover from this type of loss?
Sometimes things fall into our lives when and how we least expect them in ways that may seem completely random or unexplainable by any form of logic or science known to man. Personally, I am an adamant believer in fate; I think that many things in our lives happen through some form of “divine intervention” to give us the boost we need or to send us a sign when we are finding ourselves in doubt. Sometimes these forms of luck can come in the way of something simple like finding $5 in a pair of jeans on a day when you really need it. Other times, these strokes of serendipity can come from people and restore our faith in humanity, letting us find ourselves again, allowing us to trust and befriend again.
The thing about fate, though, is that we have to be willing to relinquish our desire for control in order for it to work. We have to let go and let the chips fall where they may. If you are a control freak and perfectionist like me, this can be a very difficult task.
When we choose to be willful and stubbornly fight against the universe, all we are really doing is hurting ourselves. When we fight the forces of nature for control and resist our fate, we often find ourselves exhausted, breathless, and broken. We question if the world is working against us, when in reality it is that we are working against what we really need. Just like trying to carry more groceries than you can possibly handle, trying to wield the universe to your wishes simply doesn’t work, and it usually results in a negative outcome, like dropping a gallon of milk and watching it pour all over your driveway. Sometimes, all that we can do is take a deep breath and go on blind trust, knowing that everything happens for a reason. Everything in this moment is exactly as it should be.
For me, this blind trust in the fate of the cosmos began with beginning to submit my writing for publication, something that I’d never previously have done without the support of a friend. Finding myself at rock bottom, with nothing to lose and nobody to turn to for that “friendly push,” I decided I’d take a gamble and send some of my mental health pieces to The Mighty. I trusted the universe, and it provided in more ways than I’d imagined. For starters, my writing was accepted, published, and got a lot of response. Also through this dive into writing, I became acquainted with an incredible person with fabulous writing skills.
Have you ever found a person that you just “click” with? We’ve probably all had that experience of finding someone that you instantly find it easy to chat, so comfortable that you would have thought you’d known each other for years instead of weeks. You find that you have so much in common, like you were destined for friendship.
My new writing acquaintance became one of those people for me: I found myself fascinated by her, reeled in by learning all that random things that we have in common and all that she has experienced in her life. I didn’t find it hard to talk to her or even really all that difficult to trust her and be myself.
I could have simply avoided the universe here or pushed back with strong refusal, but something inside of me could feel the cosmos telling me to go forward, to trust. As a result, I found myself flourishing both in this new friendship, but in other ways as well. It’s almost like when you start to trust, the clouds part and you find the sunshine, even if it comes and goes and you don’t always know if you are really listening. Pain is unavoidable; loss is unavoidable. In those moments of great pain, though, there can also be a sign of something better down the road. We just have to stop, we just have to feel the breeze, we just have to listen.
I can now say that without a doubt there is a reason this amazing friend has entered my life when she did. She’s given me amazing advice, incredible inspiration, solid and genuine encouragement, and even some great laughs (there was a memorable typo she made that I laughed about for entirely too long after the fact). We all need a friend like this in our lives, and those of us that have one are so incredibly lucky. Sometimes we just have to let our guard down, be a little vulnerable, relinquish control, and trust that fate has our back.