This is the year for me to plan a pilgrimage. It’s not that I want to go anywhere in particular. The pilgrimage could simply take place within the far reaching corners of my mind.  For some time, all of my life really, I have often pondered the notion of whether I have a destiny.  And deep down inside when I pose this question, I know I do. Destiny. Making my mark. It all belongs to me. And to all of you.

I picked up a book to read from Lamplight Books in the Pike Place market. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has been read by everyone except me.  I’m a late bloomer. I never like to read books while they are hot and raging, climbing the New York Times Bestseller list. I tend to read well-touted books after the hoopla has died, so I can distinguish the hype from what is real and true. Mr. Coelho refers to destiny as one’s personal legend. Some of us might call our destiny a personal brand, a calling, or our soul. 

I don’t mean to make my pilgrimage sound mysterious, but my daughter called me out of the blue to tell me she was grappling with this thing called destiny. I don’t know where to draw the line, she said somewhat apologetically, between what is my responsibility in life and what is not. I felt for her and I especially felt her angst.  I told her that free will and destiny might seem to be opposing concepts when in fact they are not.  It’s fairly simple: we have no control over the cards we are dealt in life; we can only choose how t


Patricia Vaccarino

Patricia Vaccarino is an accomplished writer who has written award-winning film scripts, press materials, articles, essays, speeches, web content, marketing collateral, and nine books.

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