It’s easy to feel small. To feel as inconsequential as a dot of foam in the ocean, or a mote of dust in a hurricane.
Which is exactly how I felt this morning. Hurrying down the street, running late for the bus, my arm was aching with the weight of three heavy bags and a laptop. My hair was blowing into my eyes, my mouth; sweat was beading on my forehead. Everyone walking at a speed of 2mph and below seemed to find their path directly in front of me, taking up the entire pavement as I tripped on their heels. As I rounded the corner into the bus station I walked past a graffiti-ed wall with two messages on it:
‘May peace be with you.
I snorted and congratulated the universe on it’s ironic sense of humour.
The rest of the journey continued in much the same manner, until I felt I could scream at the heavens in that over-the-top sensational way they do in all the movies. Why would today – today of all days – decide it was a good time to test me? It was as if every twist of fate was lining up to take a shot.
We all have days like this. For some reason, there are times when our patience runs out at the same time as our time keeping skills and the whole day just goes to pot. And there are two options you are faced with when this is the course Fate seems to be taking you on:
Or fight it, and forge your own way forward through all the chaos.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a super empowered, enlightened woman who clings to independence and gives fate the finger. Like most people, I am stubborn enough to simply get grumpy at everyone and everything, fixing nothing and as a result, just confirming my day as incredibly bad.
But a wonderful little person changed my view of the day with one smile and a fierce fierce hug.
With my little brother by my side, chanting an endless stream of questions and thoughts at me as we wound our way through Morrisons, I began to feel better. He was making me laugh, challenging me to ninja fights and telling me jokes, all with his skinny arms wound around my waist in a hug, as he giggled at the absurdity of a soup that comes in a sachet.
It made me think. I don’t know if I do believe in fate, but this morning I seemed to blame it for the negativity of the day…and I suppose that means a part of me puts trust in it, at least to a degree. It comforts me to think that our lives are already partially mapped out, with blots of happiness and sadness in an unimaginable cocktail.
On the other hand, I also believe strongly in choice. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am today, doing the things I am doing, with the people I am with, without choice playing a part. It’s the basis of our freedom and foundation of our lives.
I wonder why the two have to be mutually exclusive. Why can’t we have the freedom of choice whilst fate bubbles subtly underneath, pin-pointing the key moments of our lives? I know that Love feels bigger than mere choice, as if something larger is out there cheering it on. And I know that who we choose to love is set out by our own means.
So maybe those skinny little arms were affirmation that a choice to spend time with someone can bring a smile to the most disgruntled of faces.
And maybe that graffiti telling me to ‘Be strong’ was reminding me that fate was right alongside me the whole time.