Friday, January 11, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure

I have made many decisions throughout my life. They have been good, bad, passive, energetic, simple, complex... all of these have taken me down a variety of paths. 

Sometimes I have meandered, other times I've slouched, I've gone ahead full steam, and I've hidden. The doors that have been opened  as well as shut have always been interesting. 

I have always been exactly where I should be, even when I didn't think so; even when I wish I hadn't been.

To bring the point home, know that I grew up reading Edward Packard's Choose Your Own Adventure series. I shared them with friends and we had a grand time. 

I recall going through the motions and picking my path, but I was always unsettled - thinking there was a better path but I just wasn't seeing it. My friends and I would discuss the endings and what happened along the way. 

We had to back up our storyline selection by explaining our deductive logic and reasoning that led to the story we elected to follow. Sam and Jeff always seemed to have the coolest adventures... (I didn't really have friends that were girls back then). 

After a brief period of time, I found that I would re-read and then select the path that I thought was the coolest, before we met to discuss our adventures. I would then tell my friends that I naturally selected the most prestigious story of all the options. What a cheater!

In hindsight, I know now that there is no perfect story or perfect ending. The stories are all just endings that have equally neat things that happen all along the way. 

In fact, I've come to understand that the only thing perfect about each story is two-fold: 1) we get to choose and 2) experience the process. The ending isn't necessarily the main objective, rather just a type of result.

You see, the intrigue is that there's not a single story that is better than another. It's just not "our story" and our perception about watching it unfold can often be romanticized.

The entire point of choosing your own adventure, is to see what you do with the path you have taken. The neat thing about a real life 'choose your own adventure' is that you're not limited to a specific path or ending.

You can change your direction at any time. You literally can do this. It might take time, creativity, lots of energy and so on, but it is absolutely possible. If you don't like where you are - change it. If you don't like who you are - change you. Be relentless. Make it happen.

There is no ending to your story - not even at "the end". As you have taken your adventures, you have touched and influenced others along the way. The effect is exponential. 

No, your story never really ends. What your story really does is influence another person's adventure. So choose, do, serve, love, laugh, cry, and experience your life fully. 

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