“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” — Tom Clancy
This is so true.
When we begin a fictional journey, whether we are reading, watching a movie or writing, we expect most things to be explained by the end of the story. We don’t like loose ends. But what about reality? Especially when we are put in a position to reflect on our lives.
From the time we realize that we have a past, we begin to replay and analyze our experiences. And once we’ve reached our age of accountability, we begin to realize how often our own choices, actions and reactions determine what will happen in the future.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. – H. P. Lovecraft
The unforeseen is what makes it so difficult to live a stress free life and follow our dreams at times. Things happen, and we don’t always understand why the decisions we’ve made didn’t produce the results we had intended.
Though I will spare you the sordid details of my particular challenges at the moment, I will tell you that I am currently experiencing the full spectrum of life’s rewards and punishments.
Okay, if you feel like I’m being negative, take a second and enjoy a classic:
There, feel better? GREAT!
(things are on the upswing from here, I promise!)
Now, I didn’t start this to cast a shadow on human existence. Quite the opposite. My goal here is to offer a reminder that sometimes, what seems to be a bad turn of events in life can often produce a brighter future than would have been otherwise.
My point in all this? Well, even though I’m dealing with some pretty tough stuff lately and, most likely, will be for a while longer…
- Today, I am older.
- Today, I am wiser.
- Today, I am healthy.
- Today, I am loved.
- Today, I am challenged.
- Today, I am aware.
- Today, I am thankful because…
- Today, I am.
What makes me particularly happy and thankful is that each one begins with “Today, I am”. Which means, to me, that I now have the opportunity to shape who I will be tomorrow.
“Life is too short not to view each moment as a fresh start and new beginning. The past need not define us. Hearts and lives can change.”
I like that. I believe that. At least until we reach the point where scientists have made time travel and infinite lifespan possible, right?
A while back I said to myself “I want to be a writer”. Then I started telling people “I’m going to be a writer”. And when someone asked me what I did, I would tell them “I am an aspiring writer”.
Then one day I woke up and answered “I’m a writer”.
The funny thing is that almost nothing had changed in my day-to-day life. No new book deal. No contract to syndicate my articles, essays and blog posts. I simply decided that I was a writer.
Here’s where I try to bring you back to where I started today.
Again, my point is not how horrible my life is right now. It’s not. But it right now could be one of the worst times for me to dive back in to a creative career. Or, right now could be the best time.
Oddly enough, I think it very well may be the latter. In the midst of working through all the negatives I have actually become more productive as a writer.
“Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.” — T. S. Eliot
I’ve waited longer than I intended before I got back to posting here, but I’ve definitely not been starving the “creative me”.
The whole time I was worrying about my recent concentration of “life hurdles” I was also becoming a bit upset that my current work projects were not seeing much progress as a result. The best I got from most days were, from what I could see, abstract ramblings and few imagination dumps here and there.
But, guess what! My WIP list has gone from 3 novels and a few non-fiction projects to 10 novels in the works (Now I REALLY have to get those first three finished!) and a more focused set of writings for my non-fiction projects.
I absolutely need to focus on working through this adverse time in my life. I also need to keep my priorities straight, where my writing is concerned, through all of it and beyond. But, I’ve realized that there is much more good in life to focus on than any of the bad stuff could ever take down.
I don’t know what the outcome will be when my feet touch the ground beyond that final hurdle in this challenge, but I DO know that there will be plenty of what I love to replace what it may take out of me. That’s a GOOD thing. And, honestly, I don’t know how much I would appreciate those things if it weren’t for an occasional bout with adversity.
At this point, I’ve done what I can for today, both here and for my other challenges, so I’m going to shut this thing down, go sit on my porch for a bit and watch my cat chase all forms of wildlife around this little chunk of heaven in the hills. Then I’ll probably go shoot people on the XBox for the rest of the day.
Will you do me a favor before you go? Will you share your story of inspirational adversity? Feel free to put it (if it’s short enough) or a link to it in the comments on this page. And while you’re at it, if you like what I’ve got here so far, there’s a little “Follow” button down at the bottom, right corner where you can sign up for updates through e-mail.
I hope to hear from you!
Until then, remember:
“When life throws you a curve, lean into it and open the throttle.” — Unknown
Thanks for spending time with me today!