The pages in between

You might have heard talk recently about being “the main character” of your life. Usually this alludes to spontaneity and novelty, taking charge of your life and being interesting for interesting’s sake.

The main character of a book has the action centred around them. There are very few main characters that have a boring or normal life – media wouldn’t be so entertaining if we weren’t following the story of an entertaining person with an eventful life. But that’s just what makes good television or reading. If we want interesting lives we have to make it happen – being this kind of main character doesn’t really happen naturally. We must choose to be spontaneous – go outside in the rain, go on directionless evening drives with the stereo blasting, do anything to gain that feeling of free, happy living.

This makes good TV and reading. But you don’t (usually) see footage of characters driving to work in silence. You don’t see characters sleeping. You don’t see characters doing their boring jobs, brushing their teeth, making lunch… but it’s assumed. It’s between the pages of the book. The deleted scenes that were cut in order to get to the action faster.

Those inbetween pages and deleted scenes actually make up most of our time in life. We don’t leap from plot point to plot point so quickly in reality. Things progress slowly. There are pending times. There are moments of boredom. There are moments of subtle contentment.

If you’re just hitting the daily grind, that’s okay! You’re not necessarily stuck in a rut. You’re not weird. It doesn’t make you a boring person. And importantly, it doesn’t mean that you don’t matter or that you’re inconsequential.

You’re already the main character. All the time. Even when you’re asleep, stuck in traffic, washing dishes, mowing the lawn or in a business meeting. You can do the “main character things” if you want from time to time, but you don’t have to. You don’t have to be constantly chasing that feeling of elevation. We will have peaks and valleys like fictional stories, but we still have to travel between them, along slopes and plateaus.

You will peak again. You will feel low again. You don’t have to manufacture it. You’re just between pages right now.

Stay safe,

kp

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