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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meant To Be

The phrase "if it's meant to be" came up in conversation recently.  I responded with something like, "there is no meant to be, there is only right now."  Of course, that comment of mine was pretty vague and it lingered with my own thoughts for quite some time.  I finally decided that to some extent Life has bested me at the "romantic notion game" and while some people may see it as Jaded Pandora, I see it as Realistic Pandora.

"Meant To Be" is pretty much synonymous with "destiny" or "fate."  And to make an already complicated notion even more difficult, most people fail to notice that their idea of "meant to be" is really "what I want it to be."  It is an overly romanticized idea that has no practical or realistic value.

I remember driving down the road at 26 and thinking about how I never dreamed I would be a divorced woman, how I never dreamed I would be a single parent, and how disappointed I was to be in that situation and hadn't followed through with my original plan to stay the academic course all the way through my PhD.  And I remember thinking that I was certain love was real when I made the decision to marry, and I was certain it was "meant to be" when I dropped out of college to marry this man.  And I remember telling myself, as I drove down the road, that I guess it wasn't "meant to be," because if it had been it wouldn't have gone down the way it did.

And I remember pulling myself up by the boot straps and getting myself back into college and eventually graduate school because having my PhD and becoming a college professor was "meant to be."  What I didn't see coming was another round of custody battles that would eventually deplete me financially, psychologically, and emotionally.  What I didn't see coming was that the needs of my child would ultimately far outweigh my need to be a professor.  And what I didn't see coming was that I would have to choose between what I perceived to be my purpose and my "destiny" and what was truly my purpose and "meant to be" -- Mother and Sole Provider.

And I remember fighting my way into the corporate world, and I remember talking my way into a comfortable position and I remember thinking, "this wasn't supposed to be how it went down, but here I am."  And I remember keeping men at bay because they were not to be trusted, and I remember creating a list for myself for what I wanted in a man, were I to magically meet The One.  And I remember thinking that, a few years after I had made that list, I truly believed I had met The One and I once again believed this was "meant to be," but we all know how that one turned out so... shame on me... shame on my overly romantic tendencies and my apparent failure in realizing that I truly have no fucking idea what is "meant to be," except for everything that has happened to me thus far was "meant to be."

Truth is, the only thing that is "meant to be" is that I exist in this world, that I have a path I'm walking and while I dream and plan and do my best to become the vision in my head, there's no telling what may happen when the random storm passes through.  I'm like The Dream House that I always wanted, but I was dumb enough to build it in tornado alley and every so often I have to look at the rubble that was left behind and rebuild.  Each time I tell myself I will make it bigger and better and stronger and it will withstand the elements.  Unfortunately, the nature of the beast is unpredictable, and even if I were to move out of tornado alley, I still have to contend with earthquakes and hurricanes and floods and hell... maybe even a little war here and there.  The only thing I truly know is what is happening right now.

Right now there are people that had once been a part of my journey down this road, but they have taken other turns or left or passed away.  Then there are the people that crossed my path long ago that still seem to walk alongside me and I love them and enjoy them.  And then there are new people that cross my path and touch my life in new and exciting ways, and I can hope they stick around a while and become strong and solid relationships like the people I have beside me already, but one never knows what the road will bring and one can never predict the outcome of "meant to be," nor does anyone really know what was "meant to be" until a while after it has come and gone so... I see no point in going there.

Walk the walk, ride the wave, hold on tight, and enjoy.
Dream if you want to, dreams are good, but ... tread lightly with "meant to be."

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