In Experience


I’ve been reading articles and stories and books by comedians and writers — ordinary people who use their own past experiences to convey a message or express an idea to readers. Every time I close up a book for the night, I think to myself: I can do this. I then go to bed confident in myself and hopeful for my future, knowing that I can make my living writing someday.

I wake up the next morning asking myself why I haven’t written that book yet, why I haven’t gathered a bunch of my articles into a memoir of some sort. I wonder why people aren’t holding a book with my name on the cover, reading my stories, and learning from my experiences.

I know I can help people. I’m pretty sure I have in the past, and I’m certain I have even helped myself through my writing. There’s always a lesson to learn, so why not use my experiences to communicate that message/those messages to the masses?

Simply put, I’ve been putting the cart before the horse. I cannot expect to just write these stories and impart all of this great wisdom onto people without first experiencing the events during which I learn the lessons. Basically, I don’t have enough wisdom to do any of it yet. And that has been my biggest issue lately.

I find myself itching to write something meaningful, but I can never find the inspiration. Perhaps this is because I’m spending my time waiting for something meaningful to happen, when in reality, lessons are learned on the fly. The most meaningful experiences aren’t ones we sit around waiting for… Drama — now that’s the stuff that changes our lives.

Falling in love, falling out of love, ending relationships, embarking on new ones. Regret, apologies. Death. Adversity. True happiness. We cannot learn from living in a stagnant environment because then we’re not really living, are we? We’re pretty much just waiting to die.

Despite the dreary perspective of the previous sentence, this post’s purpose is to encourage everyone to maintain a positive outlook on life — myself included (especially myself).

We cannot learn from writing about an experience immediately after experiencing it. That is when life lessons are forced and it becomes obvious that we are waiting around more so than living. We need to give the experience time to sink in, time to show us what the lesson is, and we must give ourselves time to actually learn that lesson.

I’m not sure if this is true for everybody, but I find that the stories I tell best are ones that happened years ago. Stories I’ve had time to think about and let fester in my mind, stories whose details I’ve mulled over and decided which were vital to the progressions and outcomes. At the time of some of these experiences, I had no idea they’d be this important to me. But sure enough, after awhile, these experiences all prove to be essential pieces to my puzzle. And while I may never be able to see the finished product, I might as well enjoy the process of putting it together.

So, I will leave everybody with my newly-adopted life motto:


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