The world doesn't revolve around you. And, chance are, if you treat it as if it does, you will wind up alienating more people than you think. No one wants to be casted off as second-rate or left in the dust as soon as things get too tough for you. Yet, what if you chose to view your life as a story destined for a novel or a movie script?
What if you found your life as the main story of some blockbuster movie or best-selling book?
What would that look like?
The way people talk, any given life story would be either of epic proportions or totally yawn-inducing.
You'd have to be some famous person for it to matter, right?
And, that's part of what drives depression, I think.
Life seems pointless. Or, at the very least, it feels mundane, void of any real significance. Or, maybe it seems like, even with its victories & defeats, life feels no more special than anyone else's experiences.
The same thing, day in & day out, with no real climax.
That kind of a life is hard to imagine as a page-turner, right?
But, what if, instead of thinking of your life as a story, written chronologically & from beginning to present, you thought of it in a new light? What if your life as a story was not & soooo not worth any kind of notariety?
What if your life as a story could be spun into a tale worth reading?
What if your humdrum ups & downs of life could be narrated in such a way lent inspiration to others?
Or what if your life as a story showcased you as a hero who overcame every obstacle to reach a goal?
Or maybe, you are the villian when the story of your life is written just so…?
For years now, I have had a thought in my mind for a wild fictional tale full of mystery &, perhaps, paranormal or supernatural in nature.
I have never quite been able to shape this vague idea into an actual outline to work towards a full-fledged premise.
Yet, lately, my brain has been working overtime on it.
Several weeks ago, I created a list of things I would like to accomplish before my next birthday & there were several writing-related tasks on it. In particular, writing a personal memoir AND getting started on a fictional novel were both listed.
The more I think about it, the more the two seem twisted together. Maybe, instead of writing a memoir, I will twist my past experiences & emotions into a highly fictional account of my life.
Perhaps, viewing your life as a story isn't just about recounting what has happened to you.
Your life as a story doesn't need to equate to taking journal entries & sprucing them up into some kind of entertainment for others — at least, not on such a basic level.
Maybe, as part of creating entertainment, there is a kind of therapy that needs to occur — whether the author realizes it's happening or not. Maybe taking your life & turning it into a story involves letting your brain run wild.
Maybe this is what people mean when they say that writers take things that happen in their own life & insert them into their writing.
So, in my case, perhaps I can work it to my advantage — for once! — that people are always telling me I think too much! Maybe, overthinking any given situation can give me the springboard to create a chapter in my story that pieces together a greater narrative.
What if that death was my fault? What if, instead of just my over-active mind telling me that I could have done something to prevent it, I turned it into a story where I really was the villian?
Or, what if, instead of trying to mentally console me about choosing to send my sons to live elsewhere, I turned that memory into a story where my sons were taken from me & I had to fight to figure out where they were being kept?
Or, what if, instead of my mother's death triggering all kinds of stories or resiliency & detrimental behavior in my young adulthood, I took the real feelings I had of that timeframe & applied them to a best friend's disappearance & my own kidnapping in a twisted, mysterious version of taking that part of my life & spinning it into a story?
Maybe it doesn't matter that life feels totally BLAH sometimes.
Maybe, with a bit of imagination, & a lot of time writing, telling your life as a story of intrigue or mystery or romance or adventure could be the kind of therapy that makes an impact. Not only could a few tweaks to perspective create the canvas for better choices in real life, but it could also help bring to life a narrative for writing that others could enjoy reading as well…
So, all of this to say, maybe I have an idea (or two or ten) for that fictional story after all… Maybe I will get to mark something off that 40 before 40 list soon if I can just nudge it along a little further…