Recent events are conspiring to make me think a lot about fate and
predetermination. The ancient Greeks believed you were pretty much screwed
(see Oedipus or Agamemnon or even Cassandra), once the gods had it in for
you there was nothing you could do. No use fighting it.
I often sit and wonder what would have happened if I'd taken Cornell's
offer over UCSC's. Would I still have done classics? Would I have ended
up a trophy wife in NYC? Or would I have found my way to the Bay Area
anyway, since this really feels where I'm meant to be right now?
I have this idea that no matter what twists your path takes, you end up
in the same place. Life as a set of branching paths, but with certain
milestones defined. I have absolutely no evidence to back this up, of
course, it's just a gut feeling. Maybe I'm just trying to reassure myself
that no door I take is necessarily a wrong one. Because as I sit here
today, filled with wonder and cautious glee, I look at the long string of
cause-and-effects and kinda freak out. What if I'd missed a step? That's
when I think, well then it would have just happened another way.
This is not to say that I don't feel like my actions have repercussions,
that I can crash through life willy-nilly wreaking havoc and destruction
as I go. On the contrary, I have a deeply-ingrained sense of
responsibility to my friends, my society, my world, to the point where I
am struck down by guilt if I do anything that I feel is entirely
selfish. This does make it a little difficult to know what my heart is
telling me sometimes, much less to follow it where it leads.
I was raised to believe in an omniscient God who knew that Adam and Eve
were going to eat the fruit but gave them the illusion of choice
anyway. Apparently I had a choice about whether I was going to be a good
Christian girl or not, except wasn't that already decided as well? It
was most perplexing. Now I entertain the idea of a God who is not
unchanging, who is as capable of being affected by a relationship with me
as I am by him/her. A God who cares about me and has wisdom to share.
I don't suffer from the paralysis of having too many choices, I just need
the courage to make the decisions I know are right.