timing vs. fate: a debate

I may have written about this before (God knows I’ve tried), but come with me on it.

I’ve been thinking alot – probably too much – about timing.

*puts philosopher’s hat on*

Is it fate or timing that dictates how things are going to go? Are they in cahoots?

I always thought it was fate. Fate was the end all and be all of the world. “If it’s meant to be, it will be”. I catch myself saying that all the time. It has become one of my many mantras that get me through my (many) “why not me?” moments.

BUT.

TIMING.

Sure, if it’s meant to be it will happen eventually, right? But what if you’re not where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there? Like, what if you’re supposed to meet the love of your life on the train, but the morning fate decided you were going to meet, you oversleep? Are fate and timing friends? Frenemies?

To be fair, I also believe our decisions effect our fates. I think that with each decision you make, big or small, your fate changes. The end result may be the same, but your path might be different. Going back to oversleeping when you should have been on the love train – so you missed your train and now your whole day is off. To make yourself feel better, you decide to treat yourself to a book because the smell of a Barnes and Noble puts you in a good place. So, at lunch, you make your way over to the B&N in Union Square and as you’re walking to the check out line, trying to hide your guilty pleasure choices (even though you don’t actually feel guilty for not reading anything from the NYT Best Seller list), you walk BAM right into the person fate wanted you to find on the train. And he’s CUUUTTTEEE. He’s late getting back to work because he lost track of time perusing the shelves, but he’s walking your way, if you don’t mind the company*

*this most certainly did not happen to me. i just have a VERY active imagination and am a rom-com qween. i adore a good meet-cute.

So again I ask – fate or timing?

Maybe by saying that our decisions directly affect our fate, I’ve answered my own question.

The reason why I have been pondering all of this is more of a timing issue.

A few years ago, I worked with this guy who, from what I could tell, pretty much checked all of my boxes. He was smart, funny, had tons of tattoos, he got my humor, he was dare I say – cool. He talked TO me and not AT me, which at the time, meant a whole lot. It still does, but to put things into perspective, this was waaayyyy before starting WW. I hated my body and hated my job. I felt unseen. I was just not comfortable in anything except in my shell. He made me feel seen (to be slightly dramatic). I’ll also add that although we worked together, I wasn’t around him a ton. He was a student at the school I was working in. I saw him when I saw him. Staff meetings and/or the occasional shift we worked together. To say I feel ridiculous is an understatement. I digress. So, even though I’m no less shy or any more confident now, I’m in a different head space.

Needless to say – no moves were made by either of us. I took that as him just being a nice guy with no interest in me. And as me having an interest but not knowing how to proceed. My co-workers didn’t know how I felt about him but made comments like “you and ____ would be good together.”

just stick the knife in my chest, please. it’s easier.

About a week ago, I bumped into one of the girls I used to work with. She was filling me in on the place and what’s changed, what hasn’t. She never brought him up, but seeing her hit me with such a wave of nostalgia, I’m still picking seaweed out of my hair. He popped into my head and, if what I’ve always heard is true, when someone randomly pops into your head, it means they’re thinking of you.

I looked him up on the socials. He doesn’t have instagram and he hasn’t been active on facebook in months. Dead end. I’m not going to reveal my secrets, but I, a super duper sleuth-er, figured out that he may have moved to California.

I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m in a job that I don’t dread going to every morning. I’m not head over heels for it but it’s an upgrade from where I was. Again, I digress.

*puts Carrie Bradshaw tutu on*

I started to wonder – if I had the balls to make a move, would things be different? If I had lost all this weight back then, would things be different? If we met under different circumstances, would things be different?

And by different, I don’t mean we’d be married with 2 kids already. Maybe. I MEAN, WHO KNOWS? Even if we just went on one date – maybe we would have hated each other. Or we could still be dating. Again – WHO KNOWS.

My timing vs. fate debate isn’t limited to love and/or finding it. What about if I never found those Weight Watcher Instagram accounts and thought to myself “I could do this”. What if I decided, for the millionth time, that meh. I’m not ready. Timing or fate?

What if I never answered the Facebook post that led me to my current job? Yep, I found my job on Facebook. I almost didn’t send in my resume because I thought it would be for naught, like every other time I sent out my resume on Facebook or otherwise. I had been searching for so long and getting so frustrated that nothing was working. Finally, I figured there would be nothing to lose. It’s not perfect, but it got me out of a miserable situation. Either way, was it timing or fate? You know how Facebook works – scroll too fast and you’ll miss it.

When my mom was getting ready to retire, she started to teach me some aspects of her job. Unbeknownst to me, she was grooming me for the position because she had spoken to her bosses and it seemed like it was all systems go for me to take it over. i know how entitled that sounds so let me explain. my mom and i worked in the same institution. i worked with her or in her department since i was 13 over the summer. then i started over in the student center and my mom wanted me to have stability. long story short, she was told not to worry, so she didn’t. she retired and after she was gone, they gave her job to someone else’s husband. it was a whole big thing. i got shafted, the husband got not only my mom’s job but another open position and i was stuck and miserable. not bitter AT ALL. Was it timing or fate that the job situation didn’t work out?

I think part of the issue is that I miss and crave the things I never had. Always thinking the grass is greener. Maybe that’s the bottom line. Maybe I’m just jealous of an alternate version of my life. Of what could have been.

As I was proofreading this before scheduling it for this (or tomorrow as I write it), I came to a realization that maybe the off timing IS fate. Specifically (for me) for the work example. I hated my job in the Student Center. I thought that steadier hours and more money would help that. If taking my mom’s position would have panned out, I would have had those things but would I have been happier in the long run? Working with the same people I was trying to get away from? In a different capacity/ department, sure but still the same people. So maybe the timing being off was a blessing in disguise (in the long run because there’s still a small part of me that wishes it would have worked out, weirdly)?

I feel like I’m talking in circles.

Maybe I should sit back and let the universe work its magic.

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