Y'know I've come to realise in my old age, that it's really all just a crap shoot: not in a fatalistic, predestined, Calvinistic sense. Rather, it's just simply a matter of the decisions one makes. What you decide to do with you life, the people with whom you associate, the people to whom you commit yourself, and how committed you are willing to be to the decisions you make. The fatalistic part of it all derives from the consequences resulting from the decisions we make. Because, let's face it, we really have no idea what effect of our decisions are going to have; at best we can hope that we've made the "right" decision: "Well, if I took this job I can show that I can do this, and that will make me look good to the bosses," "If I take this gig I'll get other jobs because of the connections," "If I just stick it out things will work out he/she and I will finally have what we want," "Well, this is only temporary and I'll find a better (job, opportunity, lover, et al)." Then again, let's face it, we're really just all bozos on this bus. You try to make the right decisions; and for a small number of lucky ones the decision making process works out; but, for a large number, probably a majority, of folks it doesn't.
This is the crap shoot part of it. We base our decisions on the resources at our disposal at that time. However, we are at the mercy of people or circumstances; so that, no matter what we choose to do we often have no control over the situation. As vital as it is to success for us to develop and hone our skills, that doesn't prepare us for the multitude of exigencies with which we are, and will be, confronted: some just by pure circumstance, others the unforeseen denouement of our decisions no matter how hard we try to control things. Our fate at any particular point in our lives is frequently subject to the whims of others, at which point we are dealing with something that is as unpredictable as the lottery. In my case, I had one opportunity to realise a dream; however, all the knowledge, experience and talent I may have had for the industry, coupled with a fiscally acute business sense didn't prepare me for dealing with a scurrilous, unscrupulous business associate — in this case a landlord. My decision to sacrifice my desire to be the next Virgil Fox or Leonard Bernstein, no matter how good or justified the reasons, at the altar of business, and its subsequent failure is a decision with which I must live, no matter how depressing and probably irreversible it may be. Of course, that does not preclude anything good from happening either. One never knows, maybe the next crap shoot, instead of snake eyes, will come up a seven or an eleven.