A Life Undefined
by The Writer
Writing is Re-Writing.
I was dead. Or so I thought. I believed I wasn’t really ‘living’; consumed with writing, I squandered many opportunities life had to offer. I’ve come to understand that my belief was only half right. The other half of that truth, was I was living a lie. A lie I wasn’t even completely aware I was living.
Like any good scientist I needed only to ‘observe’ to figure out the truth. My truth. We’ve all heard those clichés that ‘everyone has a purpose’, ‘everyone plays their part’, ‘life is/is not a game’ blah blah blah… Yes. Those clichés are 100% exact, but still I feel they don’t offer 100% disclosure. They don’t offer a one-size fits all on ‘how to’ find purpose, act the part, or win the game (three very distinct courses of action that are interrelated). Without a manual to figure out this ‘so called life’, it seems we’re left up to our own devices to come up with our own. However, until we start writing our own scripts, sometimes we must ‘go with the flow’ or live according to the manuscripts of others.
Those who’ve come before us, offer their scripts as guidance, but following it step by step with or sometimes without the slightest change usually ends with a feeling of ‘where the hell am I’? Writing your own script can be a hellish adventure, but it can also be a rewarding experience (don’t get me started on the ‘re-writing process’). But on a long enough time line, people will define their lives because they’ll want it to mean something (redefining is part of the dreaded re-writing stage).
Some define their lives in the beginning according to someone else’s script and some define it at the end without a script, after all is said and done, trying to ‘make sense’ of it all. Some even try to do it in the middle, where it’s the most difficult because some life has been lived, and there is still more to come (hopefully). I’ll admit that as an ‘observer’, defining my life (in the middle), puts me in the passive sidelines perspective at times, making it seem as if I’m not really living. It may not seem as though I’m ‘in the game’, but I’ve got a pretty good understanding of how to play. But when life is observed while ‘playing’, going with the flow seems a lot smoother, and following someone else’s script becomes easier when it’s understood as learning/reference manual.
Figuratively and literally we’re all authors writing our lives like mad. Observing, knowing and understanding the rules of life makes breaking them safer, and a hell of a lot more fun too. Through observation, I know where I’ve been. I know where I’m going. And I have a definition of the life I want to live. My definition my not be ‘what life is all about’, but it will guide me to my purpose, allow me to play my part, and hopefully win before the end draws near. I can see the opportunities life has to offer. And I’ve come to understand that a life unexamined, untested, unobserved is not a life lived.