Real Stories

Chance, Fate, Luck + Shooting Stars

It felt like fate when I met you the night after I shouldn’t have walked away from a car accident.
Luck as I unraveled who you were.
The soft gaze. The simplicity of your voice when you said ‘hey’. The stability when I got scared on switchback roads while it was white out conditions.
It felt like chance, every single time my left cheek faced the ceiling as I met your lips with mine before falling asleep wondering if we’d get to do this again.
And when it ended, it felt like circumstance.
Pretty soon the 40 miles between us felt like suffocation.
It felt like escaping when I found myself in a land that was 265,461 acres big. So big you could never find me, and I couldn’t remember you.

And yet, in 265,461 acres you found me. At this overlook.
And I’m not sure if it was fate, chance, luck or closure.


Two months later after that encounter, I stood outside in the company of what felt like starting over. As he navigated the stars alongside me, we both looked up at the same time and saw a shooting star. “Did you…” I began, “…see that?” he finished. Secretly, I took a moment to make a wish, just for the sake of fate, held my breath, and softened my shoulders. 


As we continued our conversation, in between stargazing he asked me about coincidence. After my encounter in Rocky Mountain National Park with a former lover, I spent days trying to decipher the difference between: chance, fate, and luck, determining there was no such thing as coincidence. In confidence I told him I didn’t believe in coincidences, when he probed me as to why I declared, “because I want everything to mean something.” Big or small. Right or wrong. Misguided and naive, I want it all to mean something. Perhaps my underlying message was that between social media, dating apps, comfortability, ‘me’ culture, and most wild lands being charted through I feel a desperate void of this life being meaningful. I want this lifetime to be have meant something, and if we leave it all up to coincidence, where is the humanness in that?


I continued to tell him that instead I solely believed in: chance, fate, and luck which begged the question “what is the difference between chance and luck?” The truth was, at that very moment I was still processing memories of chance and luck I have experienced throughout my life, not having a solid definition on either notions. The cautionary tale about memories, is they are never objectively played out. Sometimes, I believe we play them out more romantically than they were, as a survival instinct, which makes finding distinguish between the two difficult.


And if I have to define those two I think it comes down to this — chance is surrendering ourselves to that something greater you believe in, whether it be the Universe, a god, or if you’re brave enough this notion of love and human connection. In surrendering we allow ourselves to be open.

As for luck, perhaps it is more karmic. You do subtle things to on a daily basis in hopes of obtaining a certain outcome. The caveat being the outcome might never be what we want, but what we need. 


Then there is fate. Fate is here, to remind us that this lifetime is precious, and painfully short. It is the moments we are carried into to remind us just how human we are, and how much heart we have to offer to this world and one another,  and if we are courageous enough it helps us to believe the sum total of all of our experiences ends up meaning something after all.


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