Friday marked the last day (aside from exams) of the third year of my undergraduate career. I look back at the last three years of it all, and realize that the best and most rewarding things I have learned were, in fact, outside of the lecture hall. In my experience, the three things that encompass and have affected my journey, from being lost at 18 to still kind of lost but comfortable at almost 21 now, include people, choices and coincidence.
I have met many people, from many backgrounds, from many countries, in all places and walks of life, through friends, through drunken nights and through sober afternoons. Through people, I have learned more about something I value a lot in life, and that is perspective. I thrive off the uniqueness of the way people think and feel, and the values that people have that I do not – and for some reason, this tends to either strengthen my own, or once in awhile, it will make me think that their reasoning kind of makes more sense than mine. I have always been a “grey area” kind of girl, with room for several little dalmatian spots of black and white, but today, everything almost seems like one giant grey slate.
My dad is a very cautious man, and I’m often the opposite. He tells me all the time – “Should be careful… you never know….” and I have to… sorry dad, because I have made some “bad” choices in life that have rewarded me greatly in the end. I do not believe in living a life of caution, because who really lives like that? Not doing something because of the possibility of a consequence? …Now here comes the cliché, right? Something about “taking the road less traveled” and some stuff about Robert Frost. Frost really meant that everyone wants to look back and think their choices mattered, but in reality, everything just happens by chance, and that really does not matter at all. And that is exactly what I’m getting at with “choices” – is that every day you make decisions that you do not really think about and often they aren’t choices, they are just half thought about decisions that ultimately coagulate and decide your fate in the end.
Then, we have coincidence. Which is what I consider to have been the most important deciding factor of my life today. The people I have met, and the choices I got to make, all fall under this one category right here. Thinking about the actual control you have over your life is a strange concept. It reminds me of something my aunt said at her wedding – “Meeting you was by chance, loving you was by choice.” – a statement that I sort of agreed with, and sort of did not, but essentially, applied to other aspects of life. You meet someone, either click or do not click naturally with them, but then choose to either keep them in your life for whatever reason, or do not – and this – is where coincidence, choice and people all interact.