I wonder all the time how I got here. Trying to figure out the decisions I made over the years that have led me to this exact situation that I find myself in.
Watching Supernatural the other day, an older season on Netflix, there was a question of fate. That whether the decisions that we make during the course of our lives would actually lead to different outcomes. The character on the show basically said that there was no such thing. That every decision we make would change the path slightly but the end would always be the same no matter what happened.
As a atheist I would think that decisions would always have an impact on life, but sometimes I wonder that no matter what I do or do not do the outcome always seems to be the same. And it is how you react to this outcome that shapes your life for the future.
There are always times where I could have changed the decision that led me here, but would I ultimately find my way to this place regardless of the choices I make?
Would things be any different? As a scientist I know everything strives towards some sort of equilibrium. That where there is an action there is an equal reaction that ultimately cancels it out, and also when the balance is out of whack bad things happen.
I reflect on these decisions that have changed my life and wonder about the balance of things at the time. These types of thoughts always seem to happen at my birthday. As I become another year older I look back at my life and see what types of things I did over the past year and how it affects my next year. I almost always end up depressed because I see myself getting older but I am not any more secure financially or emotionally than I was 20 years ago.
The choices I make over the year always seem to change my life at the time that I make them but ultimately I find myself in the same place I was at the beginning of the year before.
That is the balance of things. That is the equilibrium that my life seems to strive for.
This is why I never make any resolutions at the beginning of the year. No matter what I decide I am going to change my life always seems to be the same. The things that do change, my location, my hair or clothes have relatively no impact on what my year ends up becoming.
Even when I changed my job years ago, thinking it was for the better I find myself in the same position I was 10 years ago, wondering what I really want to do for the next 10 years.
So that brings me back to the story in Supernatural. Do we really have no control over our ultimate fate? Do our actions or changes large and small in our lives really not have any lasting impact?
This is always the time where someone will say that you have to live in the moment. Enjoy what you have and not wonder about what you did or did not doing during your life that would make a difference. And I always do live in the moment. But it seems the week before and after my birthday I reflect on those other moments during the year that makes this moment possible and wonder if things could have been different or will they always lead me to the same place?
So here is to becoming 43. One year older, not any wiser, and still at the same job I took when I was 33. My life is good, I can't complain, I just wonder where I will go from here.