Destiny

Dear Child(ren),

Destiny is a funny word. I can pretty much guarantee you that no matter who you are talking to, if you start a sentence or a conversation off with the word ‘destiny’ in it, people will laugh. It’s not because the word sounds funny or because it’s some double entendre like many other funny words I’ll teach you; people will laugh because so many people have dismissed the possibility of ‘destiny’ as a ridiculous fantasy. The word has become riddled with cliché and the concept nothing but a crutch for people to lean on when they are in a bad way.

In a lot of ways, I’ll laugh at the word too. I think it’s a mixture of social conditioning as well as our innate stubbornness that we share a species. What it comes down to is humans are filled with a need to be in control. The idea of some bigger picture or some ultimate reality that we have no choice of changing because it was always meant to happen is impossible to accept because it would mean letting go of that control. Some people, instead of calling it destiny, claim that God has a ‘plan’. You will hear this a lot from a lot of different people and, yes, I believe this the same…to a point. There are people who believe that this ‘plan’ is so much pre-determined that, in essence, you can cross a highway with your eyes closed and if you weren’t meant to die, you’ll make it across safely. This may be an extreme example, but the extreme examples are just that, extreme points that are drawn from the very real philosophy and belief system.

Why am I talking about this? What version of Destiny or God’s plan do I believe in?

I believe that we are given the pieces in life to make our life what it can be. I believe that there is something out there that all of us were programmed for, something we were meant to do and people that we were meant to be. I do NOT believe that this is an ultimate reality that will be no matter what. I consider it like playing with Lego. Sometimes, you are given sets that have all of the pieces and all of the instructions on how to build sometimes massive structures. Easy. However, most of the time life is like a big bucket of mixed pieces. Somewhere within all of those miscellaneous pieces are the bricks you need to build something amazing.

I know how cheesy all of this sounds (therein lies the dilemma when discussing destiny) so let me get to the point. You may find yourself in a place in your life where you are unhappy. Maybe it’s where you live, maybe it’s the career path you’ve chosen, or maybe it’s the relationship you’re in. Most people feel, at some point and to some degree, that they made a wrong turn somewhere down the line. You might not know what the right thing is but you are more than a little aware that you have chosen the wrong thing or maybe you do know what the right thing is but you have no idea how to obtain it. You get to make a choice. That’s what life is, a series of choices you have to make and that form the foundation for your entire life’s trajectory. You get to make a choice to determine if you are going to change everything to chase down that dream of a life you believe you were made to live or you can choose to settle on a life that will get you by.

Hindsight is always easier. When you’re alive and at this crossroads in your life it will be easy for me to recant to you all the times that I found myself at a crossroads and how stupid I was for not making the decision easier. I may say something like “I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do and if I had only made the right decision sooner I could have saved days/weeks/months/years of unhappiness.” It’s always easier to see what the right decision to make is when you are looking at it from years in the future. That’s a part of why I’m writing this. I don’t want to say these things that make it sound like I don’t understand and then have you feel so lost and alone and like I couldn’t possibly understand the struggle of making the right choice. I am there right now, as I write these words, in a place where I know the right decision and 10 years from now I will probably look back at this and say “man was I stupid, I should have made the right decision to save myself ______ of unhappiness” but right now, these words. I understand the hardship that comes with doing what feels right, the hardship that comes with it.

I can’t offer advice about what is exactly right and what is exactly wrong. As I said, I am living it right now. I haven’t figure out what the right thing is yet. I will, and I will inform you as soon as I know and hopefully I won’t be just a bad cliché as a parent offering you lots of hindsight but no real understanding of the pain. The advice I can give, the very advice I am trying to listen to right now, is find who YOU are. Not all the things that me or your mom want you to be or what your friends want you to be or what a boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé/wife/husband/common-law partner/person-you’re-having-an-affair-with wants you to be. Make the decisions based on nothing but you and your heart. If you have my heart I know just how much you feel absolutely everything and how easy it is for you to differentiate the things that are you and the things that aren’t. Find those things and do whatever you can to chase them down. If you know what’s making you unhappy, do what I currently cannot and cut it out immediately. I guarantee you that it will be the best thing for you and maybe this will even be the advice I end up following, who knows. Only future Daddrew knows that.

I’m hoping that this helps you to know that you don’t have completely disconnected parents that never went through hard times emotionally and mentally. Both of us have. I know you’re not alive while I’m writing this and probably 90% of the world thinks I’m crazy and the other 10% is crazy enough to appreciate other people’s craziness (these facts are based off a very intense research project I conducted). I’m writing this for two reasons.

1) I think it could be therapeutic for me to feel like I’m sharing some wisdom and maybe even discovering different things about my own mind and heart by relaying this information.

2) I want you to understand me and to understand your mom as the very real people we are right now, before you, and to help you to be able to relate to us and to never feel like we never went through the very things you are going through. We have. We’ve been through a lot the two of us and, even if we haven’t been through exactly what you’re going through, we will always do all that we can to understand how you feel and to help you from a completely empathetic level. We love you always and I hope that my journey to happiness provides you with help in your journey to discovering your own happiness.

Love,

Dad (or whatever you call me…but I swear if it’s father I’ve failed you).

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