“It’s alright to do things the way you want. There is no map to life, no blueprints to survival, you can create your world day by day if you have a clear vision and an unwillingness to give up.”
– John O’Callaghan
I know I have mentioned a few times the importance of creating the life you want. But today I really want to delve into what I think it means to write your own story. Because it is alright to do things the way you want. You can create your world if you have a vision and are willing to work for it.
For whatever reason, I have always felt like my life is a book or a movie. I am the main character of my story, and there is a huge supporting cast that is constantly changing as I travel through different places and phases in life. From happy and light, to tragic and heart-wrenching, to edge-of-your-seat what-will-happen-next, to just plain boring. There is a plot and character development, trials fought and overcome. My character has plenty of flaws, but some talents as well.
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I feel like everyone is the main character of their own story. And as humans here on planet earth, all of our stories will overlap and interconnect. It is a beautiful thing.
But your story isn’t just a piece of flash-fiction. It is a fully fledged novel, if not a whole series. And as any writer will tell you, trying to write a story that huge is a daunting task.
There are plenty of people out there who I am sure can relate to the following: You have reached a point in your life where you are now considered an adult. There are decisions to be made, actions to be taken, people have questions and you, yes you, are supposed to know the answers. School? Career? Family? Goals, dreams, and aspirations? You know guacamole costs extra, right?
You’re getting ready to live on your own and face the world and find out exactly how little money stays in your pocket after paying for the necessities of life. Scary? Well yeah, sure. But more than that it is so incredibly exciting!
You could choose to step out your front door tomorrow and walk, and keep on walking, and see where the sidewalk takes you. You could hop on a plane and make a life wherever it lands. Personally, I see few downsides to being a hobo in Paris. I mean, it’s not as if Parisians wash their hair every day anyway. There are endless options and opportunities, even if it may not seem like it with the way everyone shoves their ideas down your throat.
Yeah, you all know what I mean.
5 Steps to a Stereotypical Successful Life:
1) Get a degree from a respectable university.
2) Get a job as a doctor, or teacher, or lawyer, or something else “beneficial” to society.
3) Get married and have 2.5 children.
4) Live out your days till retirement trying to balance work and home.
5) Oh, and you know, do what makes you happy I guess.
Ok, so I might be exaggerating a little. But not much. At my age, people give you a funny look when you tell them you aren’t going to college to work on a degree. Sure, they act all supportive when you say you want to turn this little hobby of yours into a career, but in their eyes it is obvious they expect you to cave into the system before too long.
And I think that is sad! The people who are revered, the ones who made a difference, (the ones who actually did have movies made about them) are the ones who shrugged off the status quo and did things their own way.
And maybe you don’t want to change the world. Honestly, I’d be happy if I could change the life of one person for the better. Of course, if that day comes, I’m not going to stop there.
When it comes down to it, life is about growing and learning. Helping other people. Doing what you can to make the world a better place.
So master a different language. Smile at a stranger. Stop complaining on Twitter.
We get in over our heads thinking we need to fit our lives into some neat little chart. But you have the power to make your story whatever you want it to be. Life here is temporary. We have all of eternity on the other side, where it is not going to matter where you went to school, or what your annual income is, but how well you spent your time here, and how many people you helped.
That doesn’t make it easy. Anything worthwhile is going to take effort and patience and perseverance. But the best part in all of this is that we are not in it alone.
As you go along, writing your story, there will come times when you just want to tear your hair out, or throw the whole thing in the trash. But that is when you can turn to your lovely editors (I like to call them Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ), and ask for comfort and guidance. They’ll help you out and give you direction if you are willing to listen to them. All the decisions are ultimately up to you, and what is right specifically for you is between you and your editors.
There is one more reminder I’d like to give you. All of our stories connect. You play a part in the life of everyone you come into contact with, so make sure you play your part well. You could be like Stan Lee in all the Marvel movies, and make a cameo that everyone will love and remember. For some people you will be a more permanent fixture. Your decisions will really impact the direction of their story. If anything, just try not to be the antagonist, okay?
So next time you are asking yourself what in the world you are supposed to be doing, or why you have to go through this, remember that all great stories have conflict. All main characters find their purpose at some point. It will all work out sooner or later.
Still feeling totally lost? This article may help.
And if you are reading this right now thinking “well I don’t know, I’ve read books with some pretty sucky endings”, then to you sir I say make sure yours doesn’t suck. Even with all the outside forces working against you, your life is up to you. What story will you choose to write?