Fate implies that there is some kind of ominous power that controls the outcome of the future. It helps us cope with losses— "We weren't meant to be together." It helps us celebrate coincidences— "Fate brought us here!" It can even help cement our current situations —"I'm destined to be lonely" or "I'm destined to be great!" What it really does though, is helps us feel like something has got our back. Who the hell wants to go through the depths and peaks of life completely alone?
Still, I always hated the idea of fate. The idea that my path was pre-determined by some force, or god, or some wispy, elusive figure floating in the background. What was the point of doing any real work towards anything if it was all planned out? If everything was pre-determined, where does that put the power of my own freedom and will? It always bothered me that people would use the idea of fate to justify tragedies and stupid mistakes. Call me a realist, but I believe shitty things don't happen for some cosmic reason, they just happen.
I've always wanted to believe that I was in full control of my own destiny. And I do— for the most part. But the last few years have made me realize that although you are in control of how you react to events in your life, you are often not in control of those events. Things happen to you that will throw you off, flip you upside down, scare you, and make you question everything. These are the trying moments. These are the defining moments. How you react to the 'tough' is what ultimately builds your character. How you take the hit, and what you do about it, is what truly enables you to exercise your freedom and your control.