I love books. I love stories. Stories packed with adventure, bravery, heartbreak, suspense, love, joy, tears and happiness. And I think that the best stories are told in such a way, that you have no idea how they’re going to end until you reach the very last page.
When I think of my life a year from now, I have no idea where I’ll be. I don’t know where I’ll be living, or what jobs I’ll have. Which friends I’ll be closest to. What my goals and ambitions will be or how they may have shifted from now. None of us do really. We can take a guess. An estimate. We can ascertain where we’d like to be, but none of us know for sure.
I love new calendars. Flicking thorough, terrified and excited by what may happen as I flit through the pages of another year… I’ll fall in and out of love, find people and lose people, learn new things, change and grow, deepen my connections with some people, cut ties with others, make terrible mistakes, and stumble across my own strokes of genius. On some of those days fluky wonderful things will happen, and on others I’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing’s certain and nothing’s fixed, and I’m sitting on a knife’s edge, a paper thin divide between absolute terror and sheer joy and excitement of the possibilities.
I try to approach this uncertainty with an open mind, like with any good book, if you work out how it ends halfway through, then what’s the point? Not knowing is scary, but wonderful. It’s the story of my life. Even when I’m in the midst of bad, or difficult or hard times, I try to remind myself that it’s all part of my story. It may not make it any better. It can’t stop me feeling sad, or hurt or rubbish, it can’t make the terrible things go away, but it is all part of my story, whether I want it to be or not. And my story is me, and the things that happen / have happened / will happen in my story are the things that will / have / are making me, me. And in some way that’s valid.
So, I can sit here flicking through the blank pages of my 18 month diary, and mark the uncertain breeze they send to me. My story waiting to trickle across those blank pages. And I have some, not all control over what may happen. But then I like to flip back to this day. Because my love, this day and this moment is all we ever really have. And this moment is also your story. It’s precious, so treasure it.
I try never to live for those blank pages, thinking it will all be better ‘then’. But I’m only human, so sometimes I do, and actually – sometimes it will. Live out your story, day by day, moment by moment. And when something’s tricky, or sticky, or clunky, or difficult, or challenging, or boring, remember, it’s all part of your story – if Dorothy had known about the ruby slippers from the very beginning, then she’d never have found Oz. Maybe this is blind optimism, but one day I will hold my entire story and all of the characters that made it in the palm of my hand. And even now, when I think of the people and the places that helped make so far, that aren’t with me now, they’re still a part of my story, and nothing will ever change that. Ever.