I am the captain of my soul.
For the full poem: Invictus by William Ernest Henley
I’ll be honest; I used to go hook, line, and sinker for the idea of fate. Or meant-to-be. Or God’s plan. There are days when it’s kind of comforting to think that your life is already set on a very particular course, and that all you have to do is show up and everything will work itself out “as it should be”.
But then I thought, what the hell? What about all the crap — I mean really, truly, horrible and heinous things — that people all over this earth are subjected to every day? That was planned for them before they even drew their first breath? And I kind of fell out of being enamored with the whole idea.
I much prefer to believe that I am in charge of my life. I make my own choices. I handle things the way I decide to handle them. I steer myself in the direction I want to go. Now, does this always work out the way I’d want it to? Nope, definitely not. Does it mean the choices I make are always the correct ones? No. Does it mean I actually get complete control over what happens? Abso-flippin-lutely not. Take, for example, the fact that I lost my baby for no discernible reason. Didn’t get any say in that at all. But it does mean that I can try. It means that life doesn’t happen to me, I happen to my life.
Even so, I will admit that sometimes a part of me does hold on to the meant-to-be a little bit. Case in point, I very much feel I was meant to be a teacher. Could I be or do something else? Sure. But I don’t feel like it would align my heart and soul and mind the way teaching does. I also feel like I was meant to be a mother. Could I live a good life without being a mother? Of course. But there would always be a piece missing for me.
But even with the part of me that holds out on my fate-schmate stance, I still truly feel that I am in charge of my life (as much as I possibly can be), and that my own free will is a legit thing. I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.