Everyone has to deal with external factors in their life.  There are some things that we can’t foresee or control at all.  However, I think that we always have a choice.  The way we react to these uncontrollable variables in our life is where our free will comes into play.  For example, people get sick.  It’s never planned and most times sickness has the worst possible timing, but it’s usually something that you just have to deal with until it’s gone.  You have to readjust your life until you’re healthy again, but you still have a choice.  In this case, you can choose to take medicine, still go to work, email your homework to your professor, lay in bed for the rest of the day, and the list goes on of how you can adapt to being sick.  They always vary, but you still have a choice.  When you’re thrown a curve ball, you can choose to catch it, dodge it, or get hit by it.  If you’re focused enough, catching a good pitch and dodging a bad one will be no problem.  You’ll be able to weigh your options and make a quick decision just in time.  But, if you let yourself get caught up in the world around you, I can almost guarantee that you’re gonna get hit hard.

But I will say, no matter which way your life goes, you have to take responsibility for your situation.  Own up to the fact that you had a choice and you picked wrong.  It happens.  Hindsight is twenty twenty, but, unfortunately for everyone, we live in the moment and can’t see hindsight as our life is unfolding.  We all make mistakes and there will be plenty of times where we make poor choices individually, but, if you don’t accept that you didn’t make the best decision, then how do you accept to move forward in the right direction?  The worst thing a person can do is blame their situation on another person because, at the end of the day, you always have a choice.  Even if you’re born into a situation, you can always find a better way and I can say that from experience.  No one is a victim of their surroundings, but a victim of their reaction to their surroundings.

Rather than trying to place blame, try to evaluate your options so that you can pick the best one.  You always have a choice, but it’s up to you to be smart about what you choose to do.  If you don’t like your current situation, make better choices.  Make sure everything you do works towards what you want and that what you want is what you need.  Just own up to your situation and your decisions.  It’s your life, so you can’t blame someone else for living it for you.


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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