Saturday, May 31, 2014
Everyone can look back at different points or events in their life and say what if. We all have the lingering regrets that surface if we dedicate too much thought to the past. I don’t care who you are, you know that you have had moments when those thoughts would run through your mind wondering if things would have gone differently if you had made a different decision. While most days these thoughts are nowhere to be found, I have the occasional day when the memories linger like a heavy fog on a cool humid morning.
Regrets, in the right amount, are a healthy part of life. It is the time when the analytical and creative minds meet at a common point and time in your past and try to figure out the scenarios that could have played out. It is actually a fascinating process if you remove yourself from the decision… basically, by taking an objective view of the situation you are able to enjoy the projections and story lines that can be created. It’s like a chose your own adventure book (remember those?) but with a vividness and reality that is seldom achieved through the words on a page.
Of course, in order to do this you have to come to terms with your past decisions. Sure there are moments that you may not be proud of or that may piss you off. Some things were completely in your control and others you had now control over the situation… regardless of the situation you have to leave it in the past. Besides, the clichéd little chestnut is true, all of those events and moments in your past have made you who you are today. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am pretty darn happy with who I am and where I am at this point in my life. There are some things that I wish were a little different but nothing that I would really change.
If you are able to keep things in perspective the creative logic that is applied to your own past can provide you with pages of content and hours of entertainment. I have created many stories and scenes by leveraging my own past and tweaking it to create an alternative timeline to fit the needs of the character and story. As a bonus, once you put a different name in the situation and build an entirely different story arch it, for the most part, removes that trajectory from your own mind and therefore eliminates a avenue of regret.
It may seem odd but it works. This is what makes the creative process so personal at times and why many of us invest so much in the stories that we tell. It is a part of us, a part of our past, a part of our reality… it allows the possibilities of the past contribute to who we are today in a positive and productive way. In the end, embrace the past, good and bad, as well as the realities that did happen and possibilities that never materialized. All of these things are what feed your mind it is up to you weather that is a good thing or bad thing.