Where Was I Before I Was Born?

Teresa Roberts
4 min readMay 10, 2024

Things I Think About

Another day, Another Life

I’ve spent a good portion of my life wondering what I was doing before I was born and resenting that my consent was not required to leave wherever I was to come here. To just be thrust into this situation through a birth canal without prior consent seems pretty authoritarian.

Hey, wait a minute, I should have said. Tell me first what I’m getting myself into.

The longer I live the less evidence I see that free will exists. At least not in the glorious way free will has been explained to us. You know, the master of my fate.

I didn’t get to choose my gender, sexual preferences, DNA, parents, socioeconomic bracket, IQ, country, language, wiring in my brain, looks, you name it. No road map was given to help me figure out where I was and where I was headed. It was a crap shoot from the beginning and many things about my existence were predetermined.

There’s this common belief in American culture that life is a gift and that if we don’t turn this gift into a success story it was our own damn fault.

We were lazy or willful. If we failed it was our fault because of this thing called free will. We choose our destiny. We make zillions of choices every day that either help or hinder us. We are the masters behind the helm that determine where our ships will end up.

So step up to the challenge and cherish this gift called life no matter what.

Yet, we have finally come to accept that there are those who are mentally challenged. We accept that some suffer from schizophrenia. Clinical depression, poor impulse control, psychopathy, sociopathy, pedophilia, or even high levels of anxiety are better understood. We now know that an epileptic seizure isn’t demon possession or that our neighbor isn’t being rude, he’s autistic.

Yet, we still promote this wild concept that carries false promises and high expectations that the rest of us can do or be anything we want.

After all, life is a gift. Just unwrap it and discover how wonderful it can be. Especially if you were born into a wealthy country where you had most if not all of your basic needs met. I’m not sure how we explain the gift of life when we’re starving or living in deep poverty or war-torn regions of the world. I suppose there’s still an element of hope built into the cultural constructs that determine what we should think and how we perceive the world around us.

We’re not all given an equal gift either.

Our DNA alone can be a blessing or a curse. Some of us live long robust lives which allows for lots of time for personal growth, valuable experiences, and additional opportunities. Others struggle with predispositions that limit at best and destroy at worst our chances to live the life we want for ourselves.

So how do we get through life if our free will is limited?

How do we cope with the many obstacles that make it not just difficult to thrive but impossible in many cases? As near as I can figure, the secret to managing this journey may boil down to acceptance. In other words, in order to fully experience the good feelings that slip in between the problems that require solving, I must accept that I have little control over much of anything.

That’s been a hard one for me.

Because I’m wired to be a control freak. I waste good portions of the day and have plenty of sleepless nights trying to figure out how to beat the odds. I can’t help myself. I’m wired that way. It’s easy for me to dedicate my time to solving problems. I don’t know why either. I think I was just born that way. But this superpower has its downside. Because I can’t control many if not most things in life. I didn’t ask to be born nor did I get to pick what my gift would be. My package was delivered and I didn’t even need to sign for it because I didn’t order it. It wasn’t a custom design. It was a random mishmash.

Take it, I was told. Take it, and good luck. See ya on the other side after you’re dead. Oh, and by the way, you don’t get a say in your death either. Most likely it’ll be a total surprise.

Yep, these are the kinds of things that I think about. Haha. Seriously, I started asking these kinds of questions when I was a kid. I used to drive my parents crazy with my whys and what fors. I wanted to understand life and so much of what they told me seemed contradictory or downright ridiculous. Especially after I’d witnessed the way the adult role models in my life handled things. I could tell. They were guessing about a lot of things. They didn’t have the answers to my questions. They’d tell me Bible stories or asked me to shut up when confronted with my questions.

So, I stopped asking them questions, but I never stopped wondering what the hell was going on. I now know that I may never know why I’m here, where I came from, and where I’m going. But that doesn’t mean that I have to embrace silly explanations.

Oh, and I still wonder where I was and what I was doing for billions of years before I arrived here — kicking and screaming no less.

Teresa is an author and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.

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Teresa Roberts

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. She’s also a top writer on climate change and the future.