If one reason writers write is to create order in a chaotic world, then I would say that one reason fantasy writers like writing stories of destiny is to create in a story something we can’t see, but hope does exist, which are reasons for the paths we take in life. Or at least an ultimate goodness for the paths we choose to take or feel that we have to take. Life is so chaotic that sometimes it is hard to tell. In any case, I know I like to look back and say that something turned out to be for the best, and I’m not just saying that. Within the moment of something, I might get frustrated or disappointed or impatient, but sometimes what caused those feelings in the first place work out for the better. For example, if the mistakes that lead me to change my major from Environmental Science to English hadn’t happened, I might not have met my husband.
But now my thoughts on the possibility of destiny, on my wanting to bring order to the story of my own life, are much more complicated because I am a wife and a mother. When one has a life partner, we have to share our paths, maybe even take turns in some cases. After all, it is probably not common for both partners to find their dream jobs at the same time and in the same place. And then there is the consideration that whatever paths we end up taking affect our children. Their “destiny” is shaped without their control until they are old enough to exercise fully their free will. So when, fifty years from now, I look back again to think about my life, I will probably say that I’m glad this or that happened, not for my sake, but for my children’s futures.
As a big believer in the power of free will, I do worry about the choices I make. I can’t tell for certain if any particular thing was “meant to be.” What I do know is that it is important to always do our best, to appreciate when good things happen, and to remember always that medieval Europeans had it right about Fortune’s Wheel. It is always turning.