Thursday, June 18, 2015

Running Out of Storylines

When my life is very still and quiet and a tad on the boring side, I sometimes get the feeling like this life I am living is all something that I have made up as I have went along.

All the drama, the thrills and chills or the lack of them. Made up. A figment of my imagination.

Then I recoil inside of myself and think of what a self absorbed soul I am. How dare I believe that the world revolves around me?!

As I walked through the quietness this past little while, I am beginning to wonder if I have been right all along.

Just think of it. When you are a child, you are the centre of your universe. I remember feeling responsible for every action and reaction of those who touched my world. I didn't see (or look) any further than my own reactions and feelings to understand others were a complete and totally separate entity from myself.

Fleeting moments of my childhood flash before my eyes as I write those words. Embarrassing moments that caused me no end of worry. Tears I didn't understand but felt personally responsible for.

Perhaps the first real memory I have that is completely separate and apart from me being the central character within my own story is when my brother lost the tip of his finger due to a lawnmower mishap.

I had nothing to do with the accident and all I remember is mom and dad rushing out of the house with my brother and I believe I called a friend in their absence. I remember feeling empathy for my brother as he healed and came to terms with his loss afterwards.

Then I went about my merry little life, creating drama out of nothing, worrying over things that never happened, thinking ever-so-much-more than I ever spoke and getting all wrapped up in my self absorbed world.

As I made my way through my sheltered and very safe life, I tiptoed into places I had never seen or felt before.

My marriage was filled with honeymoon periods, tension and explosions. It had thrills and chills at every turn, not to mention a baby and a whole new adult world of responsibilities to contend with.

My life was anything but boring. Any time things did get a little tedious, I seemed to reconcile with the current love-of-my-life and that spiced things up a notch. Eventually, my teenage children provided new, yet familiar, challenges ...

I wrote that sentence and suddenly I was back in the thick of raising my oldest son. I am embarrassed to admit that I had not yet evolved out of the "everything revolves around me" stage of my life. I didn't see beyond my own point of view and it was (again) another very self involved state, filled with drama and it didn't go smoothly.

Once again, another turning point comes clearly into focus. It is when I started walking through those teen years with my second son, when I finally started seeing the world through his vantage point a little more. There was still a fair bit of excitement but I didn't take everything personally.

Life got very calm sometime in and around this phase. Is it surprising that I reconciled (again) with my third son's father? Is it a surprise that did not end with a "happily ever after"? Is it a shock that I decided to change things up a bit and go back to school and change careers at age 50? Then reel with the reality of how tough life in the trenches can be?

I found my way back to solid ground again and once my feet were firmly planted, I completed "part two" of the biggest projects (outside of raising my family) of my life. I finished compiling the stories of my dad's family.

That was eight months ago.

Life has become very quiet once again. I don't seem to have the energy it takes to interact with the world and be a vital part of a friendship or conversation or project of any sort. I have become an island.

I have been walking around in my little self absorbed state for a little while again. Then it hit me. It is like I am tired of writing my own story. I've run out of storylines that I want to pursue. "New" is not some place I want to go right now. I want to sit here in my comfortable little life, dust it off (literally), fix it up and just sit here and see how it ends.

I don't have the imagination to start the next chapter.

I believe this is the phase of my life where I should start to play a supporting role instead of the lead.

Perhaps this is part of the reason I have had clips of my past, with old "co-stars" wafting through my head. I cannot imagine a new co-star at this point in my story so I have brushed up old memories and focused on the good parts. Thankfully "life" is very good at providing me with the information I require, just when I need it the most, to remind me there is a reason those partnerships did not endure the test of time.

Perhaps this is why I have been thinking of "grandchildren". I am very grateful my own children did not become parents prematurely, but I sort of thought a mature fatherhood role would be cast one day. Just because I think I am ready for the supportive grandmother role, does not mean that will happen on cue.

Perhaps the role of "supporting person" is that of "mother", "daughter", "sister", "friend" and "daycare provider" to name a few.

Supporting roles take a bit of energy that ebbs and flows with the tides. I believe "the more you give, the more you have to give" rings true to me as I sit here and write these words. I have been too selfish lately.

My pen seems to have run dry. I don't have a new storyline in me and I'm not quite prepared to hop into someone else's "story" and take on a leading role.

Maybe I'm just lazy. Maybe my imagination ran dry. Maybe it's time to get a new pen and start writing again.

Or maybe I should just adopt a dog ....

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