Recently, on the radio on my long contemplative commute to work, I heard someone say...
"Everyone always says that everything happens for a reason. But that's not true. Everything just happens. And we assign a reason to it."
This idea hit me hard, and it made me stop and think, not just consume mindlessly like the rest of the adorably inspirational photos I've pinned to my "Remember This" board.
Because it's true. We tell ourselves that there is a plan, an intricate path that's been shoveled out for us by some higher power, because it helps us sort, organize, and categorize our life. People naturally desire order. I often hear or see quoted on social media: "God only gives us what we can handle." It's the belief that all of these events that transpire in our lives are carefully chosen, hand-picked for us for some reason that is beyond our knowledge at the time.
But that's just not true. The world is a messy, ugly, chaotic place. There is no orderly map somewhere out there with 6 billion highways all leading to personal enlightenment. Things happen based on human impulse. Things happen based on action. Things happen based on reactions to those actions.
Things just happen.
I'm not saying we shouldn't look for optimism and hope in the recklessness of our lives. I'm saying that we should approach it differently. Instead of telling ourselves "everything happens for a reason," we have tell ourselves, "Well, that just happened, and here's what I learned and here's how I grew..."
We need to take more ownership of the outcome of these "things that happened." Give ourselves the power and the credit for deciding how we want to continue our lives as a result of the crappy things that can happen to us.
Have faith in the higher power, but first and foremost, reflect, digest, and assign your own outcome.
I have found a lot of gratifying outcomes from the events that transpired in my life in 2014, mainly, my new job and the time it has given me to invest in my future (grad school), my family, my boyfriend, and myself.
So this post is meant not only to preach my personal philosophies, but to say farewell, albeit a bit early, to the year of 2014. I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I'm glad that the latter are all in past tense now.