I recently watched a movie about two con men brothers whose cons are planned out as stories drummed up by the elder Stephen. After some time, the younger Bloom more or less becomes burnt out and wants to go straight. In other words, he wants a life that is all his own and not something contrived from his brother’s mind. Bloom expresses his desires to Penelope, his love interest.
Her reply: “There is no such thing as an unwritten life, only a badly written one.”
This made me think.
A badly written life, in my opinion, is a life a person does not want for themselves. This could happen any number of ways, but I see it as mainly coming down to two: As a result of circumstances beyond your control (abject poverty, illness, death of those close to you, etc.). Or as a result of you not going after what you want.
I don’t think any life as a whole is badly written. I just think there are moments that are better than others. Let’s face it. Life rarely turns out how you expect it to and it even more rarely turns out how you want it to. Circumstances and situations change. People change. You change.
What matters is how you deal with those moments.
In the last few months, I’ve had my share of moments in both my professional and personal life. I’m a 23-year-old college graduate living at home. I don’t have a steady job. I’m on unemployment. I’m pursuing a career in a dying industry. And I don’t have a boyfriend.
I didn’t plan any of this — with the exception of being a college graduate…that was always in my plans. But as I’ve said before, shit happens. And for awhile, shit was not only happening in my life, but it had hit the fan (isn’t that a lovely visual?).
Through all of this, I’ve had my fair share of “poor me” moments. Just read some of my previous posts and you’ll see what I’m talking about. But more importantly, I’ve been able to take this opportunity to assess my life and try to figure out what I want to do and where I want to go from here. The world is my oyster and all that jazz.
I’m still not sure what’s going to happen or what lies ahead for me. And as scary as this seems, I think the way I’ve been handling it — one day at a time — has been very useful in decreasing the freak-out factor. Thinking back on my life, I’m not sure when this whole one-day-at-a-time thing started.
Once upon a time (i.e. high school), I was quite the uptight girl. I even had a moderate — a little more than minor but not quite major — freak-out that involved the throwing and kicking of my step notebook and practice clothes.
Yet here I am, five years later, living the aforementioned life and for the most part, not letting it get to me too much. I’m not sure how it happened, but I can only be grateful. Otherwise I’d probably be giving myself an ulcer over what is really just a minor conflict in the narrative of my life.
I just have to remind myself daily that this badly written portion of my life will soon pass and before I know it, it’ll be on to the good stuff.