I recently read “so yeah, maybe your story isn’t actually over” on Kaitlyn Bouchillon‘s blog, Every Story Matters. It struck a chord with me as I have been in one of those desolate, dry, desperate places that she describes lately. And it felt good to read about how those places can come back to life and be filled with beauty, hope and joy again. And I immediately thought of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories I used to read in Junior High…here is a page from a new electronic version they have nowadays:
For those unfamiliar with this concept, as you are reading the book, you could choose what you wanted to have happened and then go to a corresponding page. There were numerous ways to read the book, so it was like getting many books all in one. It was a fun way to read a book.
It turns out that life is a lot like this as well. We make a choice based on a small amount of information and we charge ahead into the story that results. But, like the books, the choices can sometimes be fraught with disappointment. It isn’t as exciting as we thought it was going to be. It leads to scary things and we don’t really like scary things. A character that we really liked ends up leaving the story. Unfortunately, unlike the books, you can’t just go back to that original page where you made the decision and choose a different page. In life, we have to continue on, trying to piece back together parts of the story that we might have lost or destroyed along the way to this one. We can never get back to the exact point where we made the choice, but we can look at what is in front of us and make a new and better choice now. OR we can change our perspective and look at the story we ended up with and tease out the good things about it. After all, every adventure story has to have some struggle and conflict or it is just boring!
So, I figure if I can wake up each day and look at what is in front of me as an opportunity to choose my adventure story, the tough things might seem a little more meaningful and the easy, fun things will seem a little more of a gift than an expectation.
Sometimes it is much harder to live an adventure than to read one. But, just like a good adventure story is worth the read, a good adventure in life is worth the risk.