Monday, June 30, 2014

Your Story Isn't Finished Yet

For me, because I deal in stories, it's easy for me to think that my life is like one.

And, in a way, it is. I have a beginning, I'm currently in the middle, and eventually, on this earth, there will be an end. 

See, the thing about studying writing (especially theatrical writing) is that you start to see things in the mindset of the three act structure: There's an inciting incident, the hero has to make a choice, that choice propels him to action and eventually brings about the resolution. There may be a set-back or two along the way for our hero, but not too many (after all, we have a time limit here). 

I think that this structure resonates with people because, in a sense, it's true. Life really is like this, situationally-speaking. Think about it... You meet someone. She is attractive. You have to make a choice - do you ask her out on a date or not? This choice on your end prompts her to have to make a choice. She accepts. This one situation and your subsequent choices about it propel you into eventual marital bliss! 


Isn't life exactly like that? 

Umm, not exactly. Perhaps the girl that you asked out on the date didn't want to go. What then? Do you find a new girl to date? What if that girl doesn't want to go out with you? If it were a movie, it would probably be a dark comedy, and you'd eventually find yourself in some sort of weird situation where (depending on the mood of the screenwriter), you'd either die in the end or meet the quirky girl of your dreams. 

But I digress.

You see, life is so much more complicated and boring and exciting than one story can encapsulate. In fact, I think our lives are many, many stories each. Some wrap up quickly, some last until you breathe your last breath. That's what's good to remember when you are feeling down about something in your life. It's possible that this is just one small story, one small subplot, after all. Or, it could be a big story that's just not resolved yet. 

That might seem depressing, but that means there's still hope to cling to. 

And think about the best movies you've ever seen. Isn't it when the hero is most down, when things seem the bleakest, when all hope is seemingly lost, that redemption comes? That's what we all long for, and I believe if you hold out as long as you can and you keep looking for it, and you keep fighting even when all things seem at a loss... redemption will come.

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