Giving birth is without a doubt an all-consuming activity, but it’s quite alarming that no one has ever noticed the teeny weeny novel that pops out right after every pink, screaming child. A novel which we then clench under our arms day after day as we grow and change, seemingly unaware of the gentle nudges it gives us and power it holds over our major life decisions.
As sometimes happens with novels, the first few chapters are a little hard to get into. Chapter 1 is strictly reserved for drooling, sleeping and senseless screaming, and we are relieved when dialogue is finally introduced around Chapter 2. We are greeted with some new characters in the form of friends around Chapter 5 and by Chapter 10 things really start taking on a mind of their own. Around Chapter 16 is when things get juicy with a love interest or family tiff, and by Chapter 18 we’re hoping things settle down and everyone works out their calling.
But what happens when the purpose of life is not revealed at Chapter 18? Or if you get to Chapter 25 there’s no sign of a dream job, or Chapter 30 rolls around and there hasn’t been a wedding. What happens if you get to Chapter 38 and there’s been no new baby with it’s own novel companion, and the super fund is not looking as fat as you’d expect by Chapter 55.
Making my way through Chapter 23, I can only a hazard vague guess as to how this plot will thicken in the pages to come. But what I do know, is that it’s okay not to know. It’s okay to go rogue and move chapters around, rip pages out and write new ones. Let the twists and turns guide you as they may, and recognise the beauty in letting things fall into place.
I can safely say I didn’t know this until a couple of pages ago, when I was under the blissful yet blind impression that planning out every page meticulously is the best way forward. I didn’t account for the books that would inspire me to take a different path, the people I would meet that would encourage me to try new things, or the unrelenting urge I would feel to break free of the safe confines of my comfort zone. Once you have felt the pull of passion, you have no choice but to follow its lead even though you may not know where it will take you. I hope following my passion will give my life the unexpected plot twists that make novels great, because I want to make sure that my life story is one worth reading.