Real change comes in forces that we can and cannot control. On one side stands the forces we can control. It’s the woman who decides to break off a relationship binded to a man she no longer feels love for, the lost English major who follows a path of passion rather than one that falls short at the hands of cynics, the parent who practices patience while their child has a meltdown in the supermarket; There’s the culprit who seeks out forgiveness and the victim who accepts the apology, the insecure who undressed in front of a lover for the first time, or on an even more intimate level, the untrusting who decides to share their personal space and personal narrative with another. These changes are decided by choice.
Then, on the other side, stands the forces we cannot control. The forces which require time to accurately unfold their doing. Hindsight, being the ultimate truth teller that it is, shows when life seemed to be be handing out free samples of shit luck, given a closer look, I realized it was just disguised generosity. We can’t control discourses that are altered or if the phone will ring after a second date, but we can control our perceptions on why aren’t able to choose the outcomes. Many things I thought desperately wanted are considered hilariously unimportant to me now. Many opportunities failed to reach me because there were better ones to come. Many times, when I thought I was being knocked off my designated path, I was actually just getting on the right one. These changes are not decided by choice.
And then there are choices that are a bit of both. Most decisions I’ve made, processed, gnawed at, and analyzed sometimes haven’t brought me as much clarity as the ones I was forced to make in a snap decision. To stay or to go. To hold back from the bitchy comment or to go for the throat. To move forward or wait around for a man who, essentially, couldn’t do a lot of deciding himself. That’s because these changes by choice – or what I had believed them to be – were gut reactions coming from my core. I believe that deep down, at the center of our being, there’s a voice that knows where to go, what to do, or who to love. That voice? It’s our own. Because no matter how lost and tired and confused or kicked in the ass we may feel, we know who we are. Even at the times when we feel like we are strangers with ourselves – because we know the work we need to do in order to feel like we have control again.