The map of life

Yesterday we watched the movie “The Adjustment Bureau”. Please stop reading now if you haven’t watched it as I’m about to spoil it for you if that’s the case. The movie is about a “higher power”, the fate commanders. They basically decide people’s fates and make sure that everyone is following the path they are supposed to be on. If something doesn’t go according to plan, they then intervene by making little things happen (such as spilling coffee on someone’s shirt), so timings are adjusted and things can get back on track. If the little things don’t work, mainly because some things do happen by chance and by chance only, then they move on to making bigger things happen, all in the view of keeping to the plan, keeping to the map of life which is supposedly written by someone “up there”.

I didn’t think the movie had enough depth to it, if I’m honest, and if I compare it to Inception (which has a similar storyline), well… there’s no comparison, really. But this post is not about the movie itself. The movie made me think about bigger things… about destiny, about fate, about how much we are actually in control of what happens to us. Sentences like the good and old: “If it didn’t happen, it’s because it wasn’t meant to be”, “Everything happens for a reason” and “Things happen when they have to happen” are said too often, but do we really mean that or do we just say them because they make us feel better for not achieving what we originally wanted? Is there really a destiny controller, like in the movie? If so, what is the use in us planning carefully where we want to be in 5 years’ time? What is the use in us planning what to eat tomorrow?

I know this sounds quite stupid and, of course, we are in control up to a degree, but I wish I knew if all the careful planning of my own life is not just a big waste of my time. Should I just swear by the most used sentence of all, when it comes to destiny? The old “Let’s just wait and see”? I don’t want to just wait and see, I want to plan and see, I want to dream and see…

I can’t tell if there is a God of destiny… I do know, though, that some spooky things do happen sometimes and I do, like many other people, find myself thinking: “if this didn’t happen, then the other wouldn’t have happened”, and so on… Maybe there is someone magically swapping the pieces of the jigsaws that are our lives. Maybe there isn’t. I do know, though, that people do overcome their own capabilities all the time… think of athletes, think of ill people that are given months to live and end up living years and years, think of lovers that were not meant to be, like in this movie, and find a way to be together despite all the contradictions destiny puts in their way . There’s proof out there that, somehow, things do happen just as people make them happen.

My belief is that yes, there is a destiny written for each one of us, but I do believe that we can change it. It might not be the wisest thing to do all of the time, but we can do it. It’s a risk, like most things in life. It may pay off, it may not. But one thing I know: “getting there” and knowing that you mapped out your own path means one thing: achievement. And knowning that you made it happen with the careful manipulation of what was available in your life is as rewarding as living the dream itself.

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Categories: Dreams | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The map of life

  1. Emiliana

    Another lovely and touching post, Ma. I am haunted by very similar questions, but I personally choose to believe that we are the masters of our own lives. We can choose what we sow, but we must harvest what grows out of it. I also think that one of the beauties of life is that we are able to change our plans and redesign our ‘maps & paths’ all the time. Beijão

  2. Thanks for the comment, Mili. And yes, I agree that we can change the map of our lives, even though I also believe that they are already written somewhere by someone. When we do feel empowered to change it, perhaps the biggest decision is what to change it to? But that is food for thought for a brand new post, me thinks… x

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