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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Control. It’s everything, isn’t it? I guess I should say the lack of it is everything, too. It is present especially when it is not. It is a paradigm that exists in an intangible realm and shifts the tangible in every possible way. The lack thereof is enough to drive anyone insane in the right context, and yet the individual has very little control in the grand scheme of the world and beyond. Hence why we hide behind false gods and magic numbers, knocking on wood and crossing our fingers… Anything to give us some relief from the everpresent fact that we hold no real control over anything but ourselves and our reactions to the world around us. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough. Sometimes I wish I could write out my life and make sure fate or destiny or random chance doesn’t swoop in and steal my happy ending.

But letting go of control is easy when you think about it, because it was never really ours. People who truly think they have control are grasping onto a phantom veil, there is nothing behind it. It is a figment we made up and hold over people’s heads with power, influence, money, and resources. That’s not to say that people can’t control others, they can… But all it takes is one earthquake, heartattack, bullet, or tsunami to remind even the most powerful leader that they do not possess real earthly control.  The other day I saw a spider. I was in my apartment with my roommate making dinner and there it was, hanging over the ceiling vent. For the next fifteen minutes, chaos ensued below it. My roommate and I argued about who should kill it, if we should kill it, the logistics of killing it, and just how much we didn’t want to kill it. I looked up at it, crawling obliviously towards our fridge, and realized that the tiny little spider had enough control to derail two human’s evening and the poor thing didn’t even know it. At that very moment, I stepped up on a chair and smashed the spider with a shoe. Then I had control. Just like that.

In life, it switches that easily. Sometimes you’re the spider and sometimes you’re the one with the shoe. Sometimes being the spider is the best place to be, but really neither of us had control that night. We were all bugs in one way or another. A lightning bolt could have struck us and the whole apartment could have burned up at that moment, spider and all. There is the omnipresent party of chance wielding a level of control no mortal being can. Maybe that’s why we fight wars over what we can control, twist fate in all our art, and use cruelty to push others down, because fear of what we do not have power over eats us alive. It is an insatiable hunger that no amount of conquering could ever feed, and the sooner people learn to relinquish that control, to sit with the discomfort of what is not in our hands, the sooner we would learn to coexist with chance.

Take the beauty and tragedy of life and accept that our lack of significance is what makes life worth living. I am not going to lie and say I always practice what I preach—I did kill the spider after all. Sometimes chance can be a fickle friend. And sometimes she screws me over in a way that makes me feel so powerless that I wonder if coexistence with not knowing is truly possible… But sometimes chance gives me just what I was meant to find without ever knowing to look. Either way we will all have to learn to live with chance, begrudgingly or not, because control is everywhere… Especially where it is not.

Hello! My Name is Madeline Malak, I am from Redding California and a third year at UC Davis. I major in History, but I have always had a passion for literature whether that be reading others work or writing my own. My favorite book is The Count Of Monte Cristo. Some of my other interests include movie reviewing, listening to music, and being super funny, cool, and awesome.