I love stories.
Even pre-LOTR days, before rumored word of a hobbit had reached these virgin ears,
I can vividly recall my response to a good story. An epic (before epic was a thing) read. A really well-told tale.
So naturally, when approaching my own life, I've managed to turn nearly every single experience into a miniature saga of sorts.
It's not intentional. I don't do it on purpose. It wasn't even a cohesive, conscious thought until yesterday.
But every now and then, I will realize that I'm living in a mild state disengagement — always ready, at a moment's notice, to look back down upon my own life from above. To gauge its narrative path. To examine its value, story-wise.
The habit is, as I've only just realized, something of a double-edged sword.
On one hand, viewing my life through this pseudo-lens allows for me to cope with rough experiences and take risky leaps. I mean — it may suck to death, but if it makes for a good tale for the-book-I-always-say-I'll-write-but-never-will, wasn't it worth it?
On the other (hand, that is), I think that to see myself only through the eyes of others is starting to limit what I can accomplish myself. If I'm always analyzing my life — my personality, my ambitions, my actions — using the criteria of others, how can I ever truly do anything real myself?
If I'm judging each movement with standards set by someone else, am I ever really doing anything to my full potential? Or am I spending more time narrating my own life than actually living it?
My friend gave me a book last week. It's called Radical Acceptance.
The cover is really lame.
The content is really life-changing.
"When we get lost in our stories, we lose touch with our actual experience." (p. 26)
Maybe I should start spending less time worrying about how I want to view myself.
or a Taylor Swift-esque serial dater with an affinity for free meals,
and maybe just....
I have a feeling that - in the end - to be anyone worth writing about,
I have to first become someone who would never concern themselves with being written about in the first place.
Photos by Matt Engelhart.