Feeling introspective. Probably not a good idea, but it’s where I am tonight.
I am not brave. I’ve chosen the path of least resistance more frequently than the road less traveled. I like people who are brave. I like to hear about their lives, see the photos, read the stories.
My stomach hurts just thinking about it. Risk taking is just not my thing. I have never gone cliff diving, and never will. I’ve never gone to live in another country, I don’t see that happening either. Some people live big lives, I’m not one of them. It’s true that some of those with big lives were raised in a certain way, maybe they had financial backing, or those around them assumed they would live those big lives. But not everyone. Some have an inner something that prompts them to take a leap with open eyes, even as their hearts are pounding.
I think those patterns have to be set when you’re young, and responsibilities are only to yourself. Yes, yes, we always have a responsibility to others in our lives, our community, our society. But responsibilities at 25 are different than 35, 45, or 55.
Not in a woe is me, life is over with middle age kind of way. There is a point where bravery and selfishness overlap. They have to. No one would ever take a chance if they were focused solely on how the chance might harm others.
Do I live through my characters? Absolutely. When I think about it, though, my characters aren’t about big lives either. No espionage, serial killers, or royalty. I love the everyman. I love exploring what goes into the choices we make in the everyday; our relationships, and the subsequent, long range repercussions. I like to follow the path of each character, trying to establish what the question really is, forget about the answers.
So if our lives are one long game of truth or dare, I choose truth. Through a substantial veil of fiction. To make it more interesting, or more palatable? Maybe the choice isn’t truth at all, but fear.
If life had been different, and we weren’t strangling on a budget that makes the basics of getting through each day a freakin minefield, I like to think I’d be more brave. Then again, if I’d taken more risks, the road less traveled when I was younger, maybe this wouldn’t be our every day.
What about you, truth or dare?