Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A new meaning to Fight Club

The things I carry with me: Everyone is mid-battle

So I know that you know that I had one of those child things a few years ago. The Bean has changed a lot about my life, but mostly, made me a lot calmer.

I just don't get frustrated with life like I used to. Most of my expectations of how people "should" do something have been tossed out the window.  Doesn't mean I don't empathize with people who are having a hard time dealing with life's expectation gaps.

The more plates I spin (worker, mother, daughter, writer, teacher), the calmer I tend to get and the more understanding I have. I think it has given me an insight that I carry with me in my life and in my writing.

Its best put in the most mis-cited quote on the internet. As I searched for an image, I found that it was said by Plato, Buddha, and John Green. All brilliant. All said cool stuff, so in my head, they can share this.

The notion I carry with me is that everyone has plates spinning. Everyone has a battle they are fighting (internally or externally). Everyone has a wound they are protecting, and everyone has armor to shield who they really are. Whether they know it or not.

In my writing, this means that each person who says something, who has an impact on my main character, gets backstory and a level of awareness about their wounds. Now, I'm not talking write out biographies for the guy that serves her coffee, but he does have history. And you have to respect that history if for no other reason than to give each character a different voice.

I think in life, this makes me just try to wait one second to consider someone else's story. We are all characters in our own journeys figuring out how to be heroic. Everyone is working through a path they might not know about, so just be kind.

When I oriented my thinking to this notion that everyone is plowing through their own Heroic Journey, I get the choice to be an antagonistic force, or the ally, or the mentor. And honestly, sometimes I am lazy and just want to be a tertiary character. Or after a bad day, I realize I'm the antagonistic force. But I might have the power to help them, to be kind, to lessen their plottings for a while.

Carrying that notion with me helps not only in my writing to make sure that I am considering the whole person, past-present-future, but also helps me just be a little kinder, because I optimistically hope, that when I come to an Ordeal in my life, there are a few allies to help me out as well. Because ultimately, we are all fighting together.

Until next time, carry on.

Amanda Arista

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