I wanted to give some background information before I delve into my topic. They connect, I promise, but feel free to scroll down if you only want to read about books.
I haven’t written in a long time.
It’s mostly down to stress. Not only have I been interviewing for jobs–a fun activity at the best of times–but my grandpa is dying. (He’s entering hospice care this weekend.) My current job hasn’t exactly been helping.
But wait, there’s more!
As a result, I’ve been getting tension headaches. (Which have been nearly continuous for a week now.) They’ve either been causing or exacerbated by my insomnia.
Ah, insomnia. It’s horrible to go to sleep early enough to get a good night’s rest and then spend half the night lying awake. I’m too wound up to sleep, but too tired to do anything else.
A couple of nights like that and I feel like this:
Side note: why are there so many disturbing images in a kids’ cartoon?
My insomnia stems from stress as well. It almost always shows up around the time I have major life choices. Which brings me to my topic:
Have you ever seen a “choose your own adventure” book?
They’ve been on my mind lately.
At my elementary school, they were the most popular books in our library. There was a mad dash for the best ones during reading time. Even when you promised your friend they could have a turn too, it was hard to give up once you’d started.
The crack cocaine of third grade
It’s a fun conceit. As you read, you’re given choices. Each one leads you down a different path.
Spoiler alert: in the case of the Goosebumps books, almost every adventure ended horribly.
Of course, with a cover like that, it’s hard to imagine it ending well.
Which brings me to the best part: you can cheat!
You can flip ahead and see how your choice turns out. If it doesn’t go well, you can go back and try again.
And again and again….
I often wish I could do that with my life. It would be great to figure out how the choice turns out, then go back and pick something else.
Lately, I can feel my life spinning off in different directions…only I don’t know which direction is the right one to take.
The worst feeling of all is that I don’t always get to be the one making the choice. In the case of jobs, most of it isn’t up to you.
Happily, unlike the Goosebumps books, the choices aren’t always bad.
For instance: not nearly as many of them lead to grievous bodily harm.
Of course, we have to make choices. We make little ones every day. Big choices, like taking a job or turning it down in the hopes of something better, don’t come along as often.
Which is good, because I like to sleep.
With those big choices, you can distract yourself for a while. (Sometimes I try to distract myself–like I have been for nearly a month now–but it doesn’t work forever.) To quote one of my favorite movies: “choices just have to be made or you certainly will miss out.”
Even though it would be nice to have more of the information–to know how it’s going to turn out–that’s not an option. We make the best choices we can with what we know.
And, unlike a third grader cheating while reading a “choose your own adventure” book, there’s no option to go back to the beginning.
Perhaps that’s good. Maybe that other choice would have led to a better life, but it could just as easily have led to something even worse. (In the case of the Goosebumps stories, that’s almost certain.)
Best of all, our choices are rarely final.
You can make, or create, another choice and start off on a brand new adventure.
Hopefully you’ll even be a little wiser than you were at the start. Best of luck!
Sorry, couldn’t resist.