“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family”. The opening words of the iconic monologue from the 1996 movie ‘Trainspotting’.
But what choices do we really have when it comes to living?
I believe that life can be a series of accidents and opportunities that are constantly dependent on outside factors that we have absolutely no control over at all.
Take that great job interview that you recently did. You know that you ticked all the boxes. You know that you are qualified for the job. You have the expertise. You presented well on the day and you answered all the questions correctly.
You didn’t get the job.
Outside influences may have played a major part. The Interviewer may not have liked the colour of your hair, or she may have had her best friend’s daughter interviewing later that day. You will never know the reason.
You will go over and over what it was that you did wrong, and never find the answer because it was nothing to do with you, it was to do with someone else making a decision that might affect the rest of your life.
You had decided on a particular path assured in the belief that if you completed A you would progress to B and then on to C. Mapping out our lives is something that we all do. We have goals and aspirations to aim for, and we hope that they will be realised as we all work toward personal fulfilment.
Achievements are celebrated and greater goals are set as we attempt to pilot our way through our lives, providing for our families, setting example by our standards and generally expecting that things will work out the way we want them to because we have worked so hard to make it happen. It’s what we have been taught to do. I cannot visualise my world without order, hope, expectations and dreams.
But life is actually so arbitrary. I realise this now, and it has taken me so long to understand it.
I realise that no matter how qualified I am for a particular job, it’s someone else’s decision as to whether I get it or not.
I realise that being an obedient citizen guarantees me nothing.
I realise that actions and decisions take place that impact on my life all the time and that I have no hand in them.
I realise that most of life is chaotic and unplanned, despite our belief that there is an order to the events that affect us.
I realise that no matter how much I try to protect the people that I love, I cannot keep them safe from harm.
I realise that I have to let go my feelings of desolation because life didn’t work out quite as I had planned it would.
I realise that life can be explained by the simple metaphor of a coin toss.
Heads you live – Tails….
Destiny can just be about flipping the coin of life and accepting where it lands.