My 41st birthday is on Sunday, and I always seem to do a lot of reflecting around this time. The other day I headed to the beach to watch the sunset and to consider who I am, where I have been, and how I want to live the next 41 years of my life (God willing).
During this reflection time I started thinking about stories. Whether you are watching a movie or reading a book, a good story can really keep you on the edge of your chair. Especially the dramas.
Have you ever noticed how the best dramas tend to be filled with anguish, love, death, joy, and suffering? Who would want to watch or read something that didn’t have at least a few of those components? Imagine a movie or book that just kept going on and on about how great someone’s life was — with never an illness, a heartbreak, or a loss. Boring!
Each of us are living dramas every day, being played out on the big screen of our lives. The storyline includes intrigue, anguish, longing, and loss. Family, friends, careers, and hobbies.
Sometimes our life stories place us front and center, like the protagonist in our favorite movie. We get to make decisions that are important – even though they could be heartbreaking.
Other times we cast ourselves as extras, watching the action from the sidelines. Feeling, quite possibly, like intruders in our own lives. That happens when we feel disconnected to the choices we have made or disappointed in the opportunities that we have allowed to pass us by.
Here is what I have learned, almost 41 years into my own story: no matter what has happened so far in our lives, we can still write a different ending.
Your happy ending can be filled with the love you have been waiting for, the career you always wanted to try, or the attitude you’ve always wanted to exhibit.
Whatever the story of your life says about you so far, take time to reflect and to evaluate it as if it is a movie you are watching or a book you are reading. Then decide how you want it to end.
You are, after all, the author.