Never Say Never

Accepting your fate

Never say never, it will come back to bite you in the arse. A statement that itself is a contradiction, yet surely you understand my meaning. It is unwise to speak too soon, for it only makes you look like a fool. This is a lesson I’ve come to learn rather intimately over the past month.

It has to do with naïveté, and the lesson I learned—and perhaps am still learning, for I am quite stubborn—is that it is folly to trust others too easily. I love China, I do. Yet it can get a little discouraging when China decides that it would like to steal your mobile phone. And the seat off your bike. And then a couple weeks later, your entire bike. In most of these cases, I admit I was careless, forgetful even. I accept that. But that doesn’t make me less upset to see my belongings disappear from under my nose. But what makes all this even worse, is that months before I said, loudly and proudly: “I have never had anything stolen from me.” Several times. Maybe no one remembers me saying it, but I do. And that makes me feel very foolish.

Today is my birthday. Another year older, yet I’m still foolish, naïve. Maybe that’s the better way to be. And yet so far I’ve found that being like this only sets me up for a bigger fall when it comes down to it. Susceptible to trickery, gullible, call me what you will, yet I will stubbornly hold onto this child’s heart. Innocent until proven guilty, I say. Yet I will never say never, for no matter how many years I gain, the future is still unknown, unpredictable, and uncontrollable.

The future may be good and bright, the future may be sad and empty, full of joy or full of hurt. In the attempt to explain why bad things happen to good people, and why some bad people always seem to get what they want, some people turn to religion. Well, I don’t have religion, and a lot of us don’t. It’s a great coping mechanism, a medicine for the troubled soul, and I envy those whose belief can give them piece of mind regarding our uncertain futures. But when I lost that faith, I didn’t know where to turn. For now, the only answer I have is that we must be accepting. Accepting of our fates, good or bad. I’ll be honest, I had a mostly crappy birthday. But it wasn’t all bad. So I’ll accept the bad, I’ll accept the good, and if I can’t be happy, at least I can be content that today wasn’t a total loss. I can’t know the future, I can’t predict everything. But I can accept it.

Never saying never is not so much the problem as is assuming something will never happen and being unprepared for it. Obviously we can’t be prepared for every single unexpected thing, but if we can prepare our hearts to accept the things we cannot change (like good old St. Francis always says) our lives will certainly pass more easily.

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