This weekend I got zero pages of my thesis done and I’m so glad about it! The weekend was really relaxing and low key and it was just a good time to stay away from work for a little while. But to make up for that long break, I plan on doing a lot of reading/research/writing this week.
You may have noticed from reading this blog that my life this year has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. The highs have been really high (read: 2/20 post) and the lows have been equally low (read: 3/13 post) but through the process I’ve learned a lot. I just want to preempt this post by noting that I’m not writing these things as though I’ve already arrived at life -bliss. I’m sure these next few weeks will have a decent number of ups and downs (hopefully more ups than downs) and I might even write another sad post before this year is done but right now I feel good so I’m going to write about that.
This weekend I learned two things: my friends are the most amazing people I know and my screenwriting professor is on to something. The first speaks for itself. I’ve written on here about my friends before and how they are really cool and awesome. I posted a quote on here a few days ago about broken people and perfect people and I think my friends really embody the spirit of the quote. They don’t see the imperfections of others and decide they’re unloveable, they do the opposite. I want to be more like that. In many ways, my closest friends are the people I can confide in, vent to, cry with, laugh with, and beat up (jk, that last one has only happened once) but in other ways they’re my role models. There is something about being friends with them that makes me want to be a better person and makes me a better person. And it’s not because they’re perfect and I’m trying to impress them so they can like me more, it’s because I see something in them that is genuinely good. I don’t think I’ve ever had friends like that before so it’s a pretty cool feeling. Now on to the second thing I learned!
One of the things we talk about in my screenwriting class is character development and the actions of your protagonist. One thing my professor always says is that if your protagonist is really the protagonist s/he can’t let things happen to them, s/he has to make things happen. You can’t have a passive main character. Obviously, this doesn’t hold for some stories (Perks of Being and Wallflower comes to mind) but in many of those stories the transformation that happens to the character is that s/he learns how to make her/his own decisions and talk hold of her/his own life.
I was thinking about this last night in church (yesterday was such a good, enlightening day) and I realized that I’m not the protagonist in the story of my life. I try to be all the time. I always try to steer my life in a certain direction and make certain things happen but it all usually falls flat. In reality, I’m one of the more important supporting actresses. And the real protagonist is God.
That changes a lot of things. It doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to sit around life passively, waiting for someone to do something to us or hand us something and not making any steps forward. But it does mean that none of the right steps we make will be made because we independently thought they were the right directions to go. At least that’s the conclusion we as Christians should come to.
I guess in a way, if you want to be the protagonist of your life, you can. But instead of it being a story with a happy ending, it’ll be something really sad. Or if it’s not sad, it’ll feel empty, like the movie Like Crazy. In fact, I think most of the time, that’s how it will end. It won’t be overtly sad or disastrous, maybe the person will get everything they ever wanted. But it will feel empty. It’ll be lacking. And that will be sad.
So I’m glad I’m not the protagonist of this story. I’m glad I’m not steering this ship. But I’m also glad that I do have a supporting role, no matter how small. I’m glad I get to be a part of the greater picture.