Weaving a Story

I like to think of life as a story. I am given certain plot elements: a fondness for cycling, Japan, programming. Certain constraints: I am living in Holland, my friend is in the UK, can't spend money like crazy. Certain 'side characters': friends, random encounters, family. And then I try to think of how I can weave all those elements together into a compelling story. Thinking of my life as a story has always lead me to make interesting decisions.

There are things in my life that did not come about as story elements. The cycling trip to Sicily is one of those. It's just one of those random things I decided to do that I thought I might like. It didn't really have any connection to the ongoing storyline. But that's also the beauty of it: I can use Sicily as a motivation to the change the main storyline. It's become a supporting element of a larger whole.

Just like any other creative work you need inspiration to build it. A life story is no different. I cycled for weeks in Japan last year without seeing how to wrap up my story there. Finally, one day while cycling along a sunny road, everything snapped into place and I saw how I could finish up the Japan trip and return to Holland for a while in a way that would satisfy my sense of story. And reality followed my planned storyline perfectly: I took a ferry from Kyushu to Tokyo, visited all my favorite places one last time before taking the plane back to Holland and surprising my parents by cycling home and suddenly showing up in their garden. A happy season finale if there ever was one.

The most logical path is not always the most entertaining. The one time I chose a logical path for myself (working in the UK), which was without a doubt the smartest thing for me to do at the time, I ended up being bored and sidetracked in a different story. Although I quit my job and went back to Holland I couldn't quite see how to continue the story from there. That's when I realized: everything up til this moment, the Sicily trip, has been just filler. It's not relevant to the main storyline at all. The main storyline continues in Sicily ad in Seychelles and also the Japanese language test I will be taking in July.

The break period is over and a new season is beginning. I found some inspiration last night on how to continue the story after the Japanese test, but I think I need a few more elements until I can weave a proper continuation. Until then, enjoy the new season, my friends.

Posted in Thoughts