I actually wrote this post for the purpose of testing the typing ability of my shiny new tech, but now it exists (Also a touchscreen exists that I can actually get up to some speed on!) and so I might as well post it!
I’ve known for a long time that my life will be an endless series of choices. Every day is another, one at a time, thousands upon thousands. The easy way or the hard way? To do or not to do? To smile or to cry?
So every morning I get up, and I light up my mind and head out into the sky.
I’m a small creature, in the grand scheme of things. But it’s in our nature to be more than that. No other species on this world has reached out and touched another planet, has gazed deep into the vast depths of the universe. We’ve done terrible things, and we’ve done wonderful, glorious things. All from our ridiculous position as bacteria on the skin of an apple, as algae on a rock.
But life doesn’t generally just come to you if you wait long enough. In books and games, adventure more often than not falls out of the sky onto the Designated Hero, but in real life, that’s generally not the case. No matter what you want, no matter what you dream of being, it isn’t going to just happen to you if you wait long enough. The only way to get something like that to happen is to get out there and try.
What am I spouting clichés for? Well, because as far as I can tell, this one exists for a pretty good reason. And I admit I have almost every single possible advantage in following my own advice, and I don’t know what I would do if I were someone else, but then we never do, do we? There’s always a mystery shrouding another person’s mind, no matter how well you know them. There’s always more going on in there than you can see. All we get, in the end, is the inside of our own heads.
The inside of mine is an odd place. I’m certainly not going to deny it! And every day I have a choice. I build my days around what needs to be done – not just in the purely literal sense of washing up (although that’s in there too), but in the sense of what I need to do to live the life I want to lead. I’ve done my best to be the kind of person I want to be and I still have to keep an eye on myself to make sure I stay on track, but that’s been done and mostly stabilised for a good while. Now I’m more concerned with the life I lead. And it would be easy, so very easy, to simply sit back and say “hey, I tried”. After all, I have tried, in the past.
And sometimes you try without reward, and the world is unfair, and you just want to close your eyes. But the world doesn’t go away if you pretend it doesn’t exist, and all that happens is you slide gently backwards. So every day is an adventure, because I love life and I make time for adventures, and every adventure has some component that makes it possible to have another adventure tomorrow. So, yes, writing is now something besides just a relaxing leisure activity. Writing is now a part of my life: I have something I have to write every day, come hell or high water, wind or sun or rain. Does it detract from the enjoyment? Only if I choose to look at it the wrong way, the immediate way, whaa whaa I want to play gaaaames. So I generally try quite hard not to do that any more. Writing is the adventure I go on today so that I can adventure tomorrow. I’ll always have ideas, but putting them down can be an effort – but that’s okay, because it’s an effort well worth making. If I want to be a published author, I had better write!
And why do that? Because it’s worth something. Many years ago, in a place now far away, it was stories that gave me strength. Now, every life that mine touches multiplies the effect of my own. I am small, a blink in the eye of the galaxy, a tiny speck in a vast and glorious cosmos. And everything that happens because of me, is the legacy that I leave to you, to us, to our world and to the galaxy. Every life I touch, however little, is something that has changed because of me. I have helped people, I have changed the world in a hundred tiny ways. I will never know the effects of much of what I have done, but when my name is gone and my bones are dust those effects may still live on. Sometimes a touch of kindness at the right time, or the right idea when it is needed, or a sympathetic ear, can change someone else’s world for the better. Everything I do is worth something. Everything I do has value. Everything I am is a tiny miracle in a world full of them and I can command that, I can reach out beyond myself. It’s incredible, it’s awe-inspiring – and we all can. This is by no means unique to me. But here I am, and no matter what, I’m going to make the best of every day that I have. However hard it is, however easy it is for me to stop, to sit and contemplate the thing that I fear above all others. In my own small way, my battles will extend beyond my life. Perhaps subtly, they will etch themselves into history.
So will yours. Every day is the foundation of your legacy to the days that come after. You have the strength. When you know that your life has value, that your actions matter if only to one person, all you need is the will – and it isn’t so hard to find.