The next big thing

It seems that some fuel their writing by the constant stream of events in their lives. Each big event is a story in itself, with its own plot twists and story arcs.

Mine was like that for awhile, with stories of dating long distance, marriage, Army life, grad school, trying to have a baby, moving across the country and becoming a civilian family once again…

What’s next? I ask myself less frequently, but frequently nonetheless.

Honestly, I have no idea.

That is, unless termite + water damage creates a giant hole near the kitchen door and we have exactly thismuch leftover hardwood to fix it. Or unless we move three tons of crushed gravel, sand, and paving stones to build a patio. Or unless…. you name it. Funerals, trips, work changes, blowing my reading goal out of the water. Pandemics…

One thing is for sure, and that is that our life story and path is unique. Really, everyone’s is, but everyone just wants to see themselves reflected in others’ stories. It feels safer, more manageable. When you don’t see your reflection, others’ stories can become unrecognizable.

What about, instead of turning away and putting our attention elsewhere when we don’t see our reflection, we don curiosity? Wouldn’t that be something?

What about, instead of continuing to align ourselves with people just like us (I get it, it’s a biological human survival imperative), we seek to make new alliances?

2020 has really done us dirty as a society, and as a human race.We could easily turn away from the mirror and say, Fuck you, COVID. Fuck you, pandemic and economic hardship and people on the other side of the political line. Screw you, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Everyone’s stories are all kind of front and center right now. The injustices are plain. The inequities cannot be ignored unless you 1) live under a rock or 2) let yourself become willfully ignorant. Never have we been so connected during a time of physical distance.

For me, and I can speak only for myself, my focus on “the next big thing” has shifted to just getting through. To making an effort to see the other side. To enjoying the journey because we don’t really know what the final stop will be.

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