Choose Your Own Adventure
When I was a child I was given a “choose your own adventure” book; I can’t remember it very well except that the cover had red on it and there was an old man as a character. I remember quite vividly that it was not a relaxing read. On the contrary, it was anxiety-producing and unsatisfying. I found myself reading all the options and making all of the choices, like Dr. Strange checking out all the possibilities in Endgame. Perhaps he, too, was left with a bitter taste of disappointment upon scouring all of the options.
In Theory And In Practice
In theory, a “choose your own adventure” book seems like it would be great fun. You get to make all the choices; there’s no arguing with characters in your mind about why they made a particular decision. It’s entirely up to you. In practice, if you suddenly find that you’ve made the wrong decision, you can flip back a few pages and make a different choice. But that’s not real life, is it? It kind of feels like cheating. And yes – it’s a book, so it isn’t real life, but it still feels wrong. Therein lay my dissatisfaction with the whole thing.
The Great Escape
I just wanted to escape – to be entertained – to be lost in someone else’s story for a moment. I didn’t want to make the decisions or choices or deal with the consequences for myself. I wanted to live in someone else’s world for a moment. Perhaps their story touched mine. Perhaps it was pure fantasy. It never mattered. Being able to experience the drama of it all without the pressure of making all the choices was the only thing that made it worth reading.
Choose Your Own Adventure In 2021
There are only three days left in 2021 – a fact I am acutely aware of since it will mark another full circle of the sun for me. I can not go back to a section I would like to do over, and rarely have there been just two options to choose from when making monumental decisions. But, it is infinitely better that way. I have gotten to choose my own adventure in life. I am not merely slogging through the decisions of others as they pertain to my life – I have chosen the path I will take. For better or worse – they were my choices.
But, why do I feel so differently about choosing my adventure in life than I do in a book – perhaps it is because the book was a sham. The situation was someone else’s, the choices were contrived, the consequences were not real, and there was no permanence in the outcomes.
In this life, in my world, everything is uniquely my own.
I get to choose the life I want.
I do not need to merely survive what life has thrown my way. Instead, I can choose to take control of my story and thrive. You can too.