Recently, I have been re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is just something about it. It’s spooky without being too scary, the dialogue is snappy, and the characters are so real I feel like I’ve genuinely met them at some point in my life. And, like so many other pieces of media I consume and love, at the heart of the story we have a person who is the “Chosen One.” The prophecy surrounding them makes them the most special, the hero.
I think the reason I love shows like Buffy, and media like this in general, is that being the “Chosen One” of my own life sounds appealing. I think we all think it does, on some level. Why else would we continue writing stories like this? Most great franchises have the Chosen One at the core of the story. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy, Game of Thrones – they all have the Chosen One as the hero. Being the “Chosen One” is a surefire way to make the protagonist special, otherwise why should we care about them?
I don’t know if I am the “Chosen One.” It would be awesome if I was. I would love to develop some sort of superpower and save the world. I like to think my media consumption is preparing me to answer the call of my destiny, should destiny ever see fit. I don’t think it will.
You can’t call destiny up on the phone and ask for a moment to occur to change your life forever. It isn’t like destiny is a waitress and you can ask why your life’s purpose is taking so long. Destiny does as it will, and you have to wait for your calling to be the Chosen One. And that is why I don’t think I am.
I’ve never had a moment where angels descended from on high and then I was surrounded by a halo of overwhelming purpose. I’ve had incredible experiences in my life, but never anything that quite felt like destiny. And I’m okay with that. I used to be very envious of people who seemed to have found their life’s calling early on in life. But envy – while a valid emotion – I find to be unproductive. If it doesn’t spur you forward, what is the point? If it doesn’t call you to action, why indulge it? Not feeling like I am the “Chosen One” hasn’t stopped me from reaching for my goals.
Maybe I’ll never have a moment where I feel like I’m destined for greatness. But the life I can see in front of me doesn’t look like a consolation prize. It looks like my next great adventure.