Ramblings I: Serendipity & the Hero’s Journey

A/N: Trying something new. Last week, I was lying on my floor at 1:30am attempting to do homework but actually filled with unrelated, intrusive thoughts. So naturally, I opened a Word document and started typing random ramblings, a stream-of-consciousness things. Lately I’ve found myself reopening this document and adding new tabs, each with extensive commentary on various life subjects, whenever I needed to let out some feels. This is one of said commentaries, edited for coherence and TMI. I am not trying to be presumptuous with any of these. It might help if you remember these were basically all written pretty late at night on little sleep from the previous night, while procrastinating, and everything just got typed in as it came to mind. Also, this seemed a lot longer on Word.

Life is nothing more than a story. Perhaps it’s a bit convoluted; the plot line isn’t clear, and the characters keep changing on you. The scariest part is that you can’t even flip to the last page to see how it ends.

But regardless, life is simply a story. You’re the protagonist in your story, the “hero,” if you will. You’ve set out on a quest. You must battle devils and dragons and demons, and in the end, you will emerge a different—and hopefully better—person.

Life is growing and changing. Life is beginning at a starting point and taking a step outwards in the hopes that you can go somewhere else. Life is crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

You can’t predict what’s going to happen. You don’t know when you’re going to stumble upon your soulmate, or when you’re going to discover your calling, or when you’re going to die. You never know when there will be some cosmic shift and the whole path of your life will change—if only you hadn’t stopped to talk to your friend, you would have been walking across the street when that drunk driver came whizzing by. You never know when you’ll be in the right place in the right time with the right people and you’ll be offered the job of a lifetime. You never know when being trapped in a long line will lead to you meeting the love of your life.

These “meaningful coincidences,” as Jung called them, or serendipitous moments, are the foundation of our lives. And the cool yet unfortunate thing about these is that they occur purely by chance. I don’t know, maybe there is someone in the sky pulling the strings, someone or something who’s certain of everyone’s path and who will, from time to time, gently pick us up and put us down in the right place so we can continue, stumbling, blindly on our way. But I tend to think that there’s no one being—no one above us and no one among us—that directly leads to these major life changes.

So if our lives are based on chance encounters and occurrences, and if we can never know what is truly good or bad for us, what’s the point? What’s the point of making an effort, of taking the leap of faith, or attempting to do anything for ourselves? What is the meaning of our lives (the answer, by the way, is still 42)?

If life is a story, we’re writing it. And it would be a total cop-out to give up any effort to reach a conclusion. No one’s going to write it for you, and the book certainly won’t write itself. So let’s finish it. Let’s do our best to make every moment meaningful to us. Let’s live for ourselves and write our own stories. Maybe it’s not our place, in the grand scheme of things, to write our own destiny—but we can certainly try.