Fact: Life is going to fall on out whether you’re ready or not.
Additional fact: Whether you think you have the skills, cash, materials, connections, or savvy – or not – the story is just gon’ keep on writing itself.
Let’s imagine that your life up until this point was an actual novel. Would you want to read it? How would you sell it? Are you proud of how you’ve engaged your own tale lovers? Or are you that character that prompts every reader to yell at their book, even in public? Have you been an active author, enthusiastically contributing to the outcome of each chapter? Or have you been rather blasé about the whole situation, allowing things to sorta kinda wash over you, without much thought at all?
How have your aspirations played out? Who have been the main characters? Does this story even make sense? What’s happening in the next chapter? Have you even thought about the plot?
I’ve heard numerous times that authors will sit their fine asses down to write their next masterpiece with great intention, a smooth plan and a fresh pot of coffee – but find not long into it that their careful plot becomes something else entirely. The scenario unfolds into something they never expected, and they’re faced with characters they didn’t dream of meeting. Explosions happen, mystery abounds and they’ve no choice but to work with the story that falls out of them right there in that moment. Whether they planned for it or not, abrupt and challenging decisions need to be made moment to moment, or they risk losing the magnificence of momentum of their pièce de résistance.
And so do you, the moment you decide to delve into your own narrative.
Consider that in every moment, every choice you face, you have the power to re-write your story however you damn well please. Goodness knows what’s going to happen! Your life is a live document, with a working title and the only thing that will ever make a circumstance permanent is your perspective now. Right this second. Your story is unfolding whichever way your attitude leads it.
That shit thing that happened last week/year/decade, is just a thing that happened. No more, no less. Unless you want it to be. If I asked you to bundle that up for me so I could store it on a giant shelf of experience… you couldn’t because it doesn’t technically exist anymore. So how can it have any bearing on your future when you can pick up the pen now and change the way your character is feeling it or responding to it?
Events don’t define you, events inform perspectives. You are different to then – you are you but with a new air of wisdom. Similarly lovers, that really awesome thing that happened, is also just a thing that happened. You cannot ride it forever, but you can use it to build your character – to propel you forward into the next chapter.
And the most incredible part of this game is that any generic event can prompt life changing perspective.
The phone rings. You meet a guy in an elevator. You are short-changed or find a new brand. A conversation starts. Buses are missed, trains are caught. Murder, intrigue and mistaken identity. Not to mention identity crisis on the regular. Hungry eyes happen across dance floors everywhere. People get rich, and people go broke. Surgeons and hospitality workers are taking secret tango lessons. You jump off a cliff, and the bungee cord stays in tact. You consider it a win. You make a giant profit. You consider it a win. You get fired and get to sleep in for the first time in 8 years. You consider it a win. You order the chicken and decide you want the steak when the meals arrive. Every time. Your second chakra is blocked and holding you back, you don’t know about it though, or have any inclination about the woman you’ll meet a fortnight from Thursday who will show you how to clear it. You discover that the little you have is actually everything you need to become happy.
You can treat every event as an opportunity to learn, as potentially the best thing that ever happened to you. You can tweak your story, add music and a top hat if you want to. Heck, move your mindset into an imaginary manor and strike up a conversation with some entity going by the name Old Mate Cosmos. You can write the best freakin’ story that ever done been written… Or you opt not to attribute meaning to the events unfolding before you, instead letting them contribute to the dull background noise around you.
Totally up to you lovers.
But since the story is happening anyway, why wouldn’t you want to actively write yourself into the best possible outcome? Snappiest dresser, generous neighbour or most determined to never settle? Why wouldn’t you want to create a life you could read to your grandkids, or recommend to your friends?
Tomorrow is a new chapter lovers… how does it begin?
Yours in nonsense,
P.S. Thoroughly recommend brainstorming wild with ‘what if’ story lines on paper… “What if she’s a rock star with a peg leg who gives up the game to make origami swans?” Or perhaps something more practical would suit you?