Row row row your boat…

Goodevening and welcome. Thank you for joining me on this Monday evening as we begin explore the wonderous

This is not me, I am not male, nor do I have a beard, nor have I won two Oscars. Yet.

world of Life: the  Existential Crisis Years- part 8097.

Now to get you up to speed: in our last episode we stepped away from the Quarter Life Crisis (QLC). A bold move perhaps, but for someone who has now reached 25 years of age and who will quite certainly not make 100 ( hereditary high-blood pressure: it’s a bastard.) it really was time.

So closing the doors of  QLC  behind me ( passing the friendly sign: Thank you for visiting- we hope to welcome you again or visit our website www.qlcrisis.co.za,) I marched on with fresh courage. My new resolution was to make the most of my life. So far so good. Yet several months on and no real forward changes have been made ( apart from feeling more confident and less prone to propel  oneself right back through the glass swingdoors of the QLC building, which in itself is an achievement- I agree.) So with the latter in mind – I would hate you to think I was whinging  yet again, I still thought about  the makeability of life.

Why is it that the same people who say: ‘Everything happens for a reason’ then also back the other cliche ‘No one else can do it but yourself.’ Surely you cannot combine the two?

If everything indeed happens for a reason, could I just kick back and let life take me where it needs to take me- all the while hoping that if not the ride, at least destination will make me happy? Happiness being the thing to strive for. ( Can the thing/god/spirit/karma/ powers who make things happen for reasons be evil? What if they/it doesn’t like me? I mean it created childbirth right? And don’t give me the story of the apple, that was probably made up to cover up  a certain somebody’s teeny-tiny engineering mistake – which in itself defies the She is Black-punchline: She would have fixed it properly.)

If it is me who has to make things happen, then what is the point? Even if I set up all the perfect situations to make my life the best it can be, am I not still reliant on other people or other forces I cannot control? If I am the only one who can fix my life, so are the others and then we all are just individuals crossing, and thus influencing, each other’s paths per chance. I have this visual of everyone in separate boats; free to steer it anywhere to find the things you want out of life, all of which are scattered around the ocean in which we all float, but no SatNav or Googlemaps.

Why work hard, move mountains, if you are never sure you can reach your goal? If there are no signs ( because you see – you’re the only one to make things happen, there are no ready made signs!) How do you know you are going into the right direction? Will I wake up one day and start steering my boat out of habit and finally reach my goal per chance because somebody else has decided to stop hogging it and move another way? Leaving the goal for me to collect ( And pass Go and collect £200?) Is it all down to dumb luck?

Maybe it is, if we take the definition given by Seneca. He didn’t call it luck dumb, to him luck was a result, a combination of man-made creation and chance: Luck is when preparation and opportunity meet.

Perhaps we come across things for a reason, but not every island or every piece of floating wood, has the same meaning for each individual. The full extend of their reason only becomes clear to us when we can use them to reach the goal we desire. At the same time, when the rightly prepared boat floats against the island it prepared for, it may suddenly seem like all the things in the boat are there for a reason. Whilst in fact we can only make sense of  the island, because of the  preparation which has been undertaken. I guess that preparation and opportunity define each other. In short: You cannot see an island in the dark if you haven’t picked up those floating nightvision goggles folks!

So here I compromise and find middleground. I will keep steering but I will also keep picking up stuff which I think I might need in life even though I can see nowt but water.  One day I will hit solid ground and when I do – my boat will be so well prepared, Robinson Crusoe can eat his heart out!

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