Friday, December 9, 2011

Playing Games with Reality

When I was a child, I used to play imagination games, like most other children. My favorite was a hypothetical situation game. What would happen if some random stranger showed up and told me I was actually adopted and belonged to a different family? What would happen if my parents died and I was sent to live with some random unknown relative in some random unheard of country? What if the house burned down and we were forced to live as forest people? I would play like this had actually happened for weeks on end with the same situation, not telling anyone, but imagining how real life went differently in my mind, without anyone else noticing except that I simply observed rather than participated. Then, I would write those pretend things down in my journal, like they were what really was happening. That was probably actually a good indication that I would become a writer, someday, now that I think on it.

One thing that I never anticipated was how reality would actually turn out. One circumstance, out of the hundreds I must have played out with myself, that I never imagined, was having divorced parents. I never even thought about that situation. It just simply could never happen to me. Of course, reality showed me it could and would, in time. Reality is funny that way, I suppose. It does what it wants, because, of course, other people shape what happens in it as well, not just you and your overactive imagination.

It's rather like being a character in somebody's book. You can develop your personality and your little quirks and a few other things about you, but someone always keeps the plot moving. Something is always happening, whether you can see it or not, and suddenly you're faced with a challenge that you have to get passed to make the writer, and whoever eventually reads this book, happy. It has to keep moving forward, you have no choice in it.

Of course, there is always help. People are sent to help you if you get stuck and such, but it's your challenge. You  must face it and overcome it to continue on to the end, because nobody likes a book where the hero dies trying to face the first great challenge. The hero has to make it to the end of the book, and hopefully that book has a happily ever after, in whatever form that happens to come in.

Now let's just hope that I'm actually one of the heroes of the book and not just a lovable side character that the author plans to kill off halfway through the book.