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Destiny

So I finished the Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde, and I’m continuing on with the next book in the series. (And yes, I snatched that one from the ChickieNob, too.  Who needs it more?  I do!)

One of the big themes in the book is destiny.  We get a feeling that we’re supposed to do X so we do X.  Or we encounter something for the first time and suddenly the whole world makes sense and we realize in that moment that we’ve always been meant to do X, we just didn’t know it.

Two quotes I loved about Jennifer Strange’s destiny:

It wasn’t what I expected, but then I don’t know what I had been expecting. That’s the thing about destiny: it can’t be predicted, and it’s usually pretty odd (page 133).

Sometimes your destiny takes you to dark places where you’d rather not be, but destiny, as they say, is destiny (page 271).

Her destiny seems pretty awful, and I have to admit, I would not have fulfilled my destiny if I had been in the same position.  I know myself.  I just wouldn’t have been able to do it.  But I have a weak will, so take that with a grain of salt.

And I thought about other options.  Like what if I found out that my destiny was to be a judge on Chopped, and I was going to have to eat those horrific creations?  I can’t even bring myself to put a straightforward piece of roasted chicken in my mouth.  I’m supposed to consume plate after plate of chicken brains in a strawberry jam and gummy bear sauce?

Or if my destiny was to become an astronaut?  I barely survived (and I really mean barely: I cried through the whole thing) the tame level of Disney’s Mission: Space.  I cannot go up in a space ship; it just isn’t happening.  But if it was my destiny?  That would suck so hardcore.

Do you think there is something specific that you are meant to do, and do you think that part of life is uncovering it?  Or do we simply do what we choose to do with no greater reason guiding us?

And if you were told that your destiny was something that you found ethically repulsive or horrifically boring, would you do it because all signs in the universe pointed it out as your destiny?  Or would you discreetly look the other way and pretend you didn’t see the signs?

Side note: tomorrow is #MicroblogMonday.  Get writing.

8 comments

1 TasIVFer { 09.27.15 at 7:40 am }

If it was my destiny, surely it wouldn’t be something I can’t stand? Surely it eould be someone else’s destiny?

2 TasIVFer { 09.27.15 at 7:42 am }

(Mind you it seems my destiny is to travel around Japan with a 4 year old. And not to sound ungrateful but IT IS HELL.)

3 Torthuil { 09.27.15 at 7:47 am }

I am not very good at being a martyr, so I think I’d try to find a destiny other than the horrible boring one. I think there are choices, even with destiny. But on the other hand I’ve never really expected to be happy all the time or for things to be easy so I could accept a difficult destiny especially if there was some larger purpose to it.

4 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.27.15 at 12:11 pm }

I think I co-create my destiny to a degree (probably to the degree that I can live consciously), so to have to have an occupation forced on me is out-of-line with how I think it works.

Like, I just know I would never have the destiny to be a phlebotomist or a garbage collector because — I. just. can’t. I would look at Fate/God/Universe with a hand on my hip and say, Really. Not happenin’. Try again.

5 JustHeather { 09.27.15 at 1:26 pm }

I think we are all here to do something or learn/teach something. We may or may not know what it is and it doesn’t have to be something big, but there is something.

6 a { 09.27.15 at 2:30 pm }

I’ve been discussing this quite a bit as we discuss moving to another school district. My husband likes to say that I went to the fancy high school and he went to the small town public school and we ended up in the same place. I didn’t tell him this, but we’re only in the same place because I lack ambition. I have what I wanted in life, more or less. He would have made more of the opportunities that I had. Is it destiny that we’re together? Nope, just a series of choices that led us to the same place. In other words, no matter how many times I read Victor Frankl, to me, there’s not some greater meaning to life. It’s just a series of choices and consequences.

7 Heather { 09.28.15 at 12:22 pm }

I didn’t believe in destiny. I was of the mind that your life is your own and whatever happens to it, is your own doing. For the most part I still believe this.
However, I do believe there are times that something DOES push me in certain directions. That I would have happily/unhappily gone on the path ahead of me if it weren’t for some feeling that I should do something different. I’m not talking weighing pros/cons and then making a decision. I’m talking about feeling like I know that doing x will be the right decision even if, at the time, it seems illogical. I feel that is destiny nudging me in the right direction.

8 Mali { 10.02.15 at 5:54 am }

I don’t really believe in destiny either. If there is such a thing, I certainly don’t think it would be something that ethically you couldn’t do. I mean, isn’t the idea of finding your destiny the idea of finding the thing that you can do well, that it’s the right thing to do, and that you are uniquely talented to do? I’m still looking for mine.

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