Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? I do, with the condition that people be active, hard-working participants of their life. There are some events that will happen to us no matter what we do, good or bad, and then there are the ones based off of choices and actions that occur through a combination of circumstances we don’t always understand or recognize.
Up until this quarter-life crisis of sorts, my life has seemed to fall into place before me. I went the usual trajectory of education up through graduating college, working hard, gaining accomplishments, and growing into an individual who knows her own learning style and confidence. A seasonal job opportunity came together right out of college, then another regular position fell into place after just a bit of search and a touch of curiosity that set me en route in that direction.
That year, an opportunity presented itself to me that, due to my previous dedication to academics and interest in teaching, led me towards receiving my Master’s degree. At that time, I was still hesitant and uncertain if this was what I wanted to pursue as a career, but it was a one year, fully-funded program, and you just don’t turn down an experience like that. It was not for nothing, as they say, because I learned more about myself in terms of resilience, flexibility, patience, and resolve. I grew as a professional and as a student in search of constant learning, whether in the physical realm of classes or life experiences. I also met a great group of people who I worked with in my classes, our tiny bunch socializing and working, and one of the reasons I was able to get through the toughest times of the program.
It would have been easy to continue down the path of education. I am not saying this in terms of the job search because I cannot attest to that, but the focus of my search for stability and professional endeavors would have been far clearer had I stayed that path. It is with a flurry of self-doubt and fear that I decided not to be a teacher, at least at this time in my life. I enjoyed it for the most part. It was challenging, but rewarding, and is more than an admirable profession for one to pursue. The difficulty is, at least at that level of education, one’s primary passion must lie in teaching. Mine is writing, and teaching was an adjunct, not the way to start a career.
It was through a period of difficulty, with tremendous support and guidance from my family and friends, especially my parents and siblings, that I realized that I owed it to myself to pursue other endeavors, as difficult as it may feel. I am doing that now, though the path is unclear and scary, even more so than when I started. As many will find and agree, the job search is not an easy thing to overcome. I have found that I am either over-qualified or under-qualified and people, which is the most frustrating situation to find yourself.
I write this now because I am scared, but also because I know that in some way, with a lot of effort, patience, and flexibility, it will be okay. My belief that everything happens for a reason has been tested greatly in these past months as I struggle to find my professional self, but when difficult challenges arise, it is all about how you handle yourself.
Everyday, I strive to be productive. I still write, read, and learn, knowing that improvement and growth are what makes life worthwhile. This stage of my life is not going the way I expected, or as smooth as some of the others have come together, but my belief is that this is part of it all. I continue working out and taking care of myself and the other parts of me that I want to foster outside of work, such as cooking.
So yes, I do believe that everything happens for a reason, though it will not always- in fact, rarely- be the way you expected. Don’t give up, but work hard and play harder. I’ve realized that I can’t live with the perspective that my life is somehow on hold and will continue once I get my next job. Life doesn’t wait in this way and neither will I.
Do you believe in fate?