I never thought about it before but I don’t know if I can hold these two concepts in balance: timing and fate.
Both of them I have appreciated through various often-perpetuated quotes.
“Timing is everything.”
“What’s meant to be will come back to you/stay.”
“Trust the process.”
“Everything will come to you at the perfect time.”
“You cannot run from your destiny.”
“Right place at the wrong time.”
“Wrong person at the right time.”
Maybe I’m understanding the intentions of the quotes wrong, but “timing” has recently been gradually losing its power in my mind as something to judge my actions and the resulting consequences as something seemingly finite.
Ever since I was young, understanding life in the sense of actions and reactions made me develop my pace in making moments. It’s the reason my sense of humor has a certain flow (comedic timing). It’s the reason I feel compelled to give pause to certain situations because rushing would exacerbate a negative tone… or I feel compelled to take action, feeling like if I didn’t, an opportunity would be lost. It almost seems like a manifestation in all aspects of my life that comes from being a musician trying to stay in the pocket.
“Timing is everything.” It’s a love-hate relationship with that saying depending on if things go “right” or “wrong”. When used that way, I always felt like that justification in something going “wrong” that it was describing some kind of misstep I should have and/or possibly could have seen coming, and chose a better time to act upon that or perhaps not have done at all. Of course I would feel like sh** because it made it seem like I would be missing out on something based on that one decision and I would never get the opportunity again. I mean, “timing” was “EVERYTHING”. “Everything” is a big word by definition. It’s such a big burden of pressure then to make the “right” decision based on timing in every situation… but alas, we are only human. We cannot foresee what has happened beyond ourselves to understand if a moment’s variables have shifted the placement where the timing of an action would be considered “wrong” rather than “right” in the eyes of intended outcome.
Even if the outcome of an action in the moment ends up with the seemingly “right” outcome, the situation itself could be misunderstood.
And so in various “big” situations with the wrong outcome, I would serve my mind the ideas of “right place, wrong time” and “That wasn’t my fate.” at the same time.
How could I believe in fate or “trust the process” or that “everything will come to me at the perfect time” if I also believed that my “timing” was a problem? It’s like saying that I understand the key of a song is consistently in the key of C but also believing I can press a wrong white key on a keyboard for that key (In case you don’t know: all the white keys on a piano are in the key of C).
Relatively recently, that hasn’t been helping me feel at peace with “writing my song” (read: living my life).
I would feel like I understand the direction of my life is consistently being vectored toward the completion of the puzzle where all my pieces fit, but yet still I would not feel certain about my efforts because a lot of them in the moment were resulting in situations being held in limbo. I would begin to question my efforts based on timing. “Did I do too much, too fast?” “Did I do too little, too late?” “Was this the wrong option to choose at this time?” “Should I have turned around and turned to page 54 instead of go into the cave and turn to page 63?” “SOUP OR SALAD?!”
It made me feel like I should have better control of situational responses to my actions by picking my times to feel about my decision… but alas, I am only a human.
Understanding timing with this kind of burden placed upon it ranks right up there with striving to be perfect, because that is exactly what it is.
Timing is not a good gauge of actions and efforts.
If the more specific topic of relationships can happen in any way, then in general, any situation can work out in any way. It might not look pretty and it might sometimes look dead but maybe it’s just sleeping. You can occasionally poke it with a stick to see if it’s alive and it will probably react no matter how early or late you poke it. How much energy and how often you put some kind of action or interaction into it will give you a better feel about it.
Let’s attribute that weird metaphor I decided to type with “communication”.
Communication with another person or even communication with yourself in a situation could help you better understand that you don’t really know what around a situation has made it good or bad timing to act. Communication is the way we learn anyways so timing should not be held as “everything” regarding when something “should have been done”. If it is to be considered “everything”, I think it should be considered “everything” in the sense that moment in time is where everything is learned and to live accordingly, continuously, and fluidly from each proceeding moment.
If it was “wrong” timing, it was really just a guess. If it was “right” timing, it was really just a guess. Either way, the result of a situation is not finite in that moment. Circumstances could evolve and if it was “wrong” before, it could lead you right back to it. If it was “right” before, it could push you back elsewhere. It could always end up differently later. Stranger things have happened.
I have always loved the phrase “Timing is everything.” equally as much as I loved answering the question “Do I believe in fate?”. With much enthusiasm, I would appreciate the power of both… but now, timing is just convenient as a standard to mark coincidental synchronization. It doesn’t hold power as far as what could be afterwards.
If there is anything I have ultimately gathered about how life works as a social species, communication is everything. In retrospect we can say certain situations would have been better if certain things were communicated earlier. While this could be true, perfect expectations are still tethered to that statement. Situations are not defined by one moment, they are composed of many moments. Situations for the most part are not even about a line coming to an end that is a point. Situations are just continuing paths in our lives. They breathe. They evolve.
Saying “timing is everything” provides a sort of false dichotomy feel about our decisions and how there is some sort of absolute “right” and “wrong” in defining our success of that situation in that one moment. A possible exception is in justifying the use of that phrase repeatedly along the same line, using it to mark every decision, and then it creates a retrospective correlation that resulted ultimately in the initial intended outcome.
“Timing is everything because I had to make those decisions in that order to make it finally work out.”
No you didn’t… but that’s the beauty that I personally appreciate of chaos.
In my opinion, it is more hopeful and rewarding in understanding that effort, no matter what time you try, and what result you end up with, is an energy reflecting your character. It also better alleviates anxiety in thinking that because of one moment, you screwed up everything about that situation. Putting the effort in communicating with the situation, may it be yourself or others involved, and putting yourself honestly into something you want but understanding situations are dynamic and not bound by perfection, will keep you sane on your life path. Everything may work out but not necessarily right now, which doesn’t necessitate you have a problem with timing. Timing is not that important when you are doing what you understand is consistent to getting the results you intend. Oh, and by the way – understanding a situation changes with communication.
With all the chaos we go through amongst all the madness whilst we maintain who we are, we communicate with certain situations and we find ourselves being vectored in a direction congruent with who we are. Somehow, it all works out.
We don’t really rush or hesitate ourselves out of our possibilities and ultimate goals. More often than not, we just don’t communicate of and for ourselves to ourselves or others honestly enough.
Don’t worry. Things can happen at any time.
Just be honest with yourself and others.
At least you’ll know where you are now, but don’t find permanence in that result.
You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life if it wasn’t what you intended…
…nor do you need that kind of pressure of understanding timing if it worked out that one time for the moment.