As 2018 comes to a close, I’ve begun to reflect on the past 12 months. I’ve gotten to vacation with family, works with incredible brands, march for causes I believe in, spend my summer travelling all over America, head back to school, go to football games with friends, and create content incorporating all of this into my blog and Instagram. I’ve had incredible moments of joy and happiness, bittersweet moments of restlessness and confusion, and darker moments of toxic thoughts and tears. Yet, I still believe I have grown, changed, and spread my horizons in 2018 more than I have in past years. To everything and everyone that’s helped me on that journey, I’m so incredibly thankful!
While thinking about the experiences, the opportunities, the fun times, and the not-so-fun times of 2018, I’ve also thought about what lessons I have learned this year. There are many smaller ones and larger ones, but the biggest lesson I have learned so far this year is that life is nothing like the books and movies we consume.
We’re taught in school that books and movies have:
-an introduction with rising action: the scenes leading up to the climax
-a climax: the highest point of drama and excitement
-falling action: the scenes after the climax
-a resolution: the end of the story where all the problems are solved and everyone (for the most part) lives happily ever after
Although this is a fantastic general sequence to go by, it does not ring true in real life.
Introductions to new hobbies, new people, new places, and maybe even new beginnings happen daily. When I meet a new person, that’s like starting another chapter in a book, solely for them. New places creates a new adventure that may end or may stick around for awhile once I leave. Rediscovering my love for creative writing this fall has introduced me to new ways of thinking and living, and I’m excited to see where it takes me. These introductions could lead to magnificent memories or negative consequences or just be a dead end with no rising action to the climax at all.
The same goes for the high points, the falling action, and the resolution. They all vary from day to day and year to year. There may even end up being a few plot twists in there, which isn’t uncommon in real life 🙂 Since the climax is the height of the action, sometimes it can represent an awful moment in your life. Maybe sometimes there isn’t always falling action, but rather a jump straight to the resolution or even a new introduction. Resolutions aren’t always the end, they can easily get jumbled together with new beginnings as has happened to me this year.
As frustrating as it is to not have a smooth-sailing story for yourself, having a bumpy ride gives more opportunities to learn and grow.
The possibilities of your story are endless, and way less straightforward than those in a book. Wanting the chapters of life to fall into perfect alignment with no (unplanned) deviation from our end goals is an easy trap to stumble into. Secret is, that’s not how life works. It is a crazy, messy, fulfilling, maddening, and fantastic journey where each challenge is only presenting us with a way to learn, grow, and change from what it will bring upon us.
I had to see the light and realize my life isn’t a book this year (this is probably for the best, writing it could drive the best author insane). This helped me to become more insightful and begin to search for ways to complete my life story despite the un-orderly fashion of it.
I encourage you to go into the new year remembering your life isn’t a book, and seeking ways to learn from the messiness. One thing to do is write it all down in a journal. Had something you wanted to say and didn’t? Write it down. Feeling a strong emotion that you don’t know how to express? Try and write about it. Are there goals you want to accomplish? Write it down as a reminder to keep yourself accountable.
2019, we’re coming for ya!