Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Choose Your Own (Life) Adventure

Recently, I've begun writing a screenplay. I KNOW! It's incredibly Hollywood of me. I've never thought of myself as a screenwriter and, frankly, I may totally suck at it. I'm going to give it a go though. I have a story in me that needs to be told. I've been going through some "life stuff" lately. It's too painful to write about in its purest truth, so I need to create a fictional metaphor to deal with it. Hence, the screenplay.

I sat down today and tried to write. I managed to write a mini-treatment so I was sure I knew where the story was going. Beyond that? I sat and thought, not only about the story, but about all the roads not taken.

We all have things that we didn't do in life. Maybe you didn't ask the cute boy to the prom in high school. Maybe you really wish you'd majored in interpretive dance like you secretly dreamed of doing. Whatever it is, we all have our regrets.

I began to wonder if maybe there are just too many options. I know, the world's my oyster and all that. Sometimes I just wish that I had a manual: if you do this, this will happen. Take this road and these doors will open...

What if I'd joined the Peace Corps like I'd wanted to? How would my life be different?

What if we'd never left Chicago?

What if I'd studied abroad?

What if I'd gotten my master's degree?

And so on and so forth.

When I was in grade school I really enjoyed the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. (Did I just date myself? Are those overwhelmingly 90s?) I always cheated. Don't like outcome of the story? Quick, go back and take the other path! Choose a different ending!

I guess the point of this rambling post is that sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could turn back time and choose a different ending. Or at least, see what might have been.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled lives. Hope you're happy with your adventure.

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