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Do you believe in destiny? What about miracles? Do you think that we are guided through life or that everything is simply happenstance? I used to think that this was just something that hippies and yoga instructors preached about. But I, being the control freak that I am, was sure that I was the captain of my ship. That I was in control. Right? Wrong. Well…kind of.
See, I’ve had too many situations in life come together that were almost too perfect. (Or they fell apart in a perfect way). Like…serendipitous, the-stars-have-aligned, hallelujah type of shit. And sure, it never appears like that at first. But looking back, I realized that there were some things in my life that I definitely had no control over that ended up giving me something I needed. Or I was given signs all along the way, and once I listened to them I was presented with something amazing. And that, my friends, is the universe at work. Call it what you want: God, Allah, The Universe, an all-powerful-being. It’s the same type of thing. And I believe that it (or he, depending on your beliefs) is constantly working in our favor. For the purpose of this piece, I’ll be referring to it as the “Universe”.
So how do you know that the Universe is at work? Well, part of it does require faith. You need to believe that it’s there. The Universe will show you the door, (and maybe even open it for you if the Universe is being particularly persistent) but YOU have to walk through it. (There’s this awesome, amazing, wonderful book titled, You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero that speaks about this quite a bit. Also good if you need to light a fire under your ass. Either way, read the book.) There are no shortcuts or cheat codes for this quest, no sir. But if you pay attention, and act on it, it can be so, so rewarding.
But like I said, sometimes it doesn’t always appear as a blessed thing, but as a blessing in disguise. I remember applying for colleges during my senior year of high school. Since I wanted to become a dance major I was also auditioning for the colleges’ dance programs. One such school was Fordham University in New York City, which hosts Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. For those of you who aren’t as keyed in on the dance community, Alvin Ailey is a world-renowned, top level, elite modern dance company. Not many get accepted into their school program and even less get contracts with the company. Auditioning for them was one of the most nerve-wracking, yet thrilling, things I have ever done in my life. Although I made it into their summer intensive, I did not get accepted into their full dance program. When I first received the email, I was obviously devastated. I had always dreamed of going to New York and pursuing a career in performance. But now that I look back on that time in my life, I realize that it was definitely for the better. At the time I was going through a horrible depression and a raging eating disorder. If I ended up going to school New York, hundreds of miles away from loved ones, and spent all my time under physical, mental, and emotional stress, hoping that there would be a chance that I might be able to possibly audition for an elite dance company? One of two things would have happened: Either the eating disorder would have killed me, or I would have. And that would be it. I wouldn’t be writing this now. I wouldn’t have found my true passion in life, which, ironically, is health and wellness. Me not getting accepted into the Ailey Dance Program was the first step to my recovery.
The Universe can also persist when you need to learn a valuable lesson, but, either consciously or subconsciously, you refuse to acknowledge it. And if you don’t get it the first time, it will come up again, and again…and again until you get it. For example, I was in a long-term relationship about a year ago where the guy cheated on me. Now, there were signs and red flags galore that something was going on between him and this girl. But I never spoke up. I never questioned him. I never said how I felt about him hanging out with her or said, “Hey! Uh…I’m not okay with this!” even though I was completely within my right to do so. After that relationship, I dated various guys, for shorter periods of time, and I found that the same problem was reappearing. And that problem was: I wasn’t speaking up. I wasn’t setting boundaries. So fast forward to the present, I’m seeing a new guy. It’s still in the early stages so there’s a multitude of lessons that possibly could be learned. But I have made sure to take the initiative in our conversations. To ask questions about things. To speak up if I feel like something needs to be explained and not just accepting what he’s saying as the “end-all-be-all”. And you know what? So far, it’s going great. In fact, I would dare to call it serendipitous. It was the Universe knocking on my door saying, “Excuse me, but I believe there’s something you need.” I needed to learn something. It was fate.
So you can believe whatever you want. It’s your life, your choice. There are no cold, hard, facts. No samples to peer at through a microscope. It’s faith. But I am choosing to believe. How everything happens for a reason. How we are exactly where we are supposed to be in life, and who we are supposed to be. And that gives me hope and peace. It sounds “woohoo” and “hippie-dippie” I know. Trust me, I’m rolling my eyes as I’m writing this. But we all have something that we are meant to do and it’s out there right now. Waiting for us. Waiting for us to walk through that door. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to take hard work or that you’re not going to fail a few times. But it does exist out there. For you.
Considering how small and oblivious humans are, it’s a miracle that some things even happen. I mean, we walk around on a floating rock that’s hurtling through space, not really knowing what we're supposed to be doing half the time, and then poof! Something or someone comes along. And at first glance, they seem like a small blip in the record of your life. But then suddenly that thing or person becomes…everything. And you’re left wondering if it was truly meant to be or just a coincidence. So, yes, I do believe in fate. And destiny. And the Universe. We may be the captains of our ships, but the Universe is the wind in our sails.