Social media is awash with quotes - inspirational and otherwise! But one in particular jumped out at me this week. Posted by Eloisa James the New York Times bestselling author on her page, it was attributed to Norah Roberts - an inspiration all on her own.
IF YOU DON’T GO AFTER WHAT YOU WANT, YOU’LL NEVER HAVE IT.
IF YOU DON’T ASK, THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS NO.
IF YOU DON’T STEP FORWARD, YOU’RE ALWAYS IN THE SAME PLACE.
Only a few lucky people end up living the lives they envisaged while at school or college. The rest of us have to go with the flow of life and simply do our best with what it throws at us. But for the majority of us, while we are generally happy with our lot, I think life does eventually, inevitably, become somewhat routine - and miles apart from the life we grew up dreaming we’d live.
By necessity routine tends to rule our everyday lives. We have bills to pay, food to buy etc.etc. so we get up, do what we have to, relax a little, watch TV and then go to bed. Repeated day by day. We know roughly how the weekday is going to pan out; what we are doing at the weekend when the time is our own if we’re lucky. Routine gives us a sense of security even though we may rail at its inevitable restrictions and say we’re stuck in a rut.
Maybe we even dream of breaking out but lack the courage to do so. So we fail to do what the above quote urges us to do. We don’t go after what we truly want, we never ask the question that answers yes not no, and we stay in the same place because basically we are comfortable there. Change is scary.
But despite the chains of routine, no-ones life really stays the same year in year out. Change is happening around and to us all the time. Children grow up and leave home, careers change direction, babies are born, priorities change etc.etc. All these things merge into our day to day existence and we become accustomed to the changes life makes on our behalf to our basic normal routine.
When we write a story we strive to show via the story line arc, how the characters have changed - for better or worse - from the beginning of the story to the end. We show how they dealt with the conflict in their lives and the decisions they took that changed them. In real life though we can only live our lives to the best of our ability and pray that it all works out in the end.
I’ve printed out Norah’s quote and pinned it to the wall in front of my desk. It will serve to remind me that sometimes, like the characters in our books, I do need to find the courage to step forward to go after what I really want and not to take no for an answer. To break away from routine and embrace change.