People keep telling me that everything happens for a reason.
It would be nice to believe that. It makes everything bad that happens seems not so bad because there’s a purpose for it. Sometimes we get actual proof that a bad or inconvenient event led to something good.
The examples I always think of in my life happened on 9/11. My daily commute took me through the World Trade Center every single day at the exact time that the planes hit (I worked in New Jersey at the time and took the PATH train, which stopped in the subterranean station in the WTC). I was in pain for much of the night and hadn’t gotten much sleep. When my alarm went off, I decided to sleep in and go into work a little late. I never made it out of my house that morning. It was the only time in my life that I was grateful for having a period.
Then there was one of my friends (and co-worker) who also went through the WTC. She was going in late that morning because she had a dentist appointment. And another co-worker had to drop off her car at the mechanics. Were all these things designed by a higher power because it was not our destiny to be there when that horror happened? Or was it nothing but coincidence, or luck?
The concept of destiny has been on my mind a lot lately because I’ve planned for many things that never came to fruition, and I wonder if it’s all for a reason. When all is said and done, will I look back on these things and say that I dodged a bullet? I think in most cases, we don’t even know it when we’ve dodged a bullet. We don’t think about it.
As a writer, I wonder why—with all things being equal—some writers make it and some don’t . Why some become popular and some don’t. Or why a so-so writers becomes wildly popular while an excellent writer struggles for a little attention. (I’m not thinking of anyone specifically.)
I think most of think in those terms every now and then. It’s human nature to say, “Why her and not me?” It’s the opposite of when bad things happen and we think, “Why me?”
Why anyone for anything? Who really knows? Maybe there’s a reason, maybe there isn’t. Maybe the trick is to see something good come out of everything, no matter what. Maybe we should say, “Good thing I didn’t get that job because I heard that the boss is Satan incarnate.” Or, “Good thing I didn’t get that role in that movie because they shot it in the frozen tundra of northern Russia and the actor who took that role froze to death.”