By Fate or By Choice

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Last Night In Paradise

I struggle every day with being a good man.

I struggle with my demons.

The fear that I won’t be able to live to to the man so many people expect me to be. Is it a mirage, is it a figment of my imagination?

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to be better than the man I see in the mirror that I wonder if it’s eating at my existence?

Am I a good man? I often want to ask people that are close to me. The people that know me intimately and personally. Have I done right by those that have loved me, depended on me? Have I done right by those that saw the best in me?

At night or in the early mornings I wonder if I’m where I’m supposed to be. I wonder if my life has been shaped by fate or by choice?

The Butterfly Effect (The Smallest Decisions Matter)

Author Demez F. White

Author Demez F. White

One of my favorite movies, not necessarily because of the acting, is the Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher. A quick synopsis of the movie is: A professor or Kutcher builds a time machine and the machine allows you to go back and fix the smallest mistake that changed the course of people’s lives. It could be something as simple as going home instead of to the park or calling one person to hang out instead of another.

The movie got me to thinking about the decisions I’ve made in life. Now I won’t pretend that I’ve been to prison or made mistakes that will haunt me but I do think about small things that happened that may have seemed small but in reality they altered the course of my life. Whether it was not re-taking my SAT’s to get a better score or not doing a semester at sea.

There are so many and to think about them all would not make much sense but it doesn’t mean that occasionally I don’t wonder. It’s such an old concept that never really gets old when you think about it. Like what if great generals would have gotten shot right before the war started. What if Rosa Parks wouldn’t have gotten on that bus because she got a phone call that her sister was sick. The effect that one decision can make on who we become and our legacies are exponential.

If I’m being honest I can’t say I regret a lot of decisions I’ve made but I can say that as I get older I regret missed opportunities and where those opportunities could have taken me. The good thing about the Butterfly Effect and life in general is that with each day comes a new opportunity to make decisions that will shape our lives and effect not just us but so many people around us.

Struggle is sort of a foreign concept to me. I’ve had disappointments and setbacks but I can’t say I’ve ever really felt helpless or thought that things wouldn’t work out. That’s mostly because of family and the people I’ve had on my life but struggle scares me. Death doesn’t, we all have to die, I just hope I die accomplished and loved. But struggle, that’s not something I ever want to experience. It’s okay to lose occasionally, you aren’t going to win at everything you do in life but struggling and losing are just different. Losing means you gave your all and you have to formulate a new plan. Struggling is losing on a consistent basis. It’s feeling as though no matter what you’re doing things just aren’t working. That haunts me, the idea that anyone could get comfortable with struggling and not want to fight. Not want to win.