Life as a Book

October 3, 2012

Have you ever thought about the afterlife? About what happens when we die? Where we go? Who we see there? What happens to us? Personally, I don’t think I have the answers. I don’t think I have anything close to the answers.

But I’ve always thought that it’s fun to speculate.

There is, of course, the Christian and Catholic belief of ultimate paradise. However, I don’t know if most movies have it right when they display this paradise as a sort of resort. I don’t quite think that’s what the church is going for when they say “paradise.”

And then there is the Hindu ideals of reincarnation. The idea that our Atman (soul) is an undying pure entity that cannot be extinguished and instead goes through a cycle of birth, death, and then rebirth.

And then…well, then there’s millions of other theories. The world is filled with all kinds of people who all believe different things…the point of this blog is not to discuss all the different sects of religion, however, it is to discuss the hypothetical.

It is to discuss the hypothetical idea that I often love to entertain some nights when I have trouble falling asleep. The idea that our Lives are constantly being written as a book and, when we die, we get to read that book. Obviously, this idea is completely absurd. I mean, what are the odds that there is some divine entity somewhere that’s writing down every intricate detail of everyone’s Lives in billions of different books. Every day, thousands upon thousands of books being finished, and thousands upon thousands of books being started.

The question at this point becomes: What do you want your book to be like? Not just in terms of contents, of course you should take control of your own Life and make it what you want it to be. What I’m talking about is stuff like: What does the cover of your book look like? Hardcover or paperback? What font is being used? Who is the book dedicated to? Does your book have an epigraph? If so, what is it? Is your book split into parts? What are the chapter titles? Who’s considered the main characters (besides yourself)? Who’s the antagonist? Is the narration created by your thoughts? Are there pictures? Pop-Ups? Most importantly, what is the title of your book?

What do you want the book of your Life to be like?

Personally, I think I’d want a green-felt hardcover book with the Superman crest engraved onto the front. Size 12, Times New Roman would be my font of choice (very original.) My book would be dedicated to Idiots across the globe. The epigraph would be something really cheesy like: “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” And I think my book would be split into parts…parts like: “Part One: When I Didn’t Understand Anything” and “Part Two: The Public School System” and “Part Three: The Collegiate Years.” I don’t know if I’ve lived long enough to decide main characters but I’d probably say my family, the Cross Country Team, the Performing Arts Company members, my classmates, my teachers…well, that’s just about everyone I’m in frequent contact with. Anyway, as far as antagonists go, the largest antagonists in my Life right now are things like homework, other Cross Country Teams, other competitive theatre teams, stress…High Schooler problems. If I had pictures in the book of my Life, they would only appear at the start of each chapter…like Harry Potter.

The title? Without a doubt in my mind, the title of my book would be: The Life of an Idiot.

Now, this is all hypothetical to an extreme, but I find it unbelievably entertaining. The most entertaining aspect of this idea (the part that I usually think about before I fall asleep) is the title of the chapter that I’m currently in. What dictates your Life right now? What is so important in this part of your Life that it deserves to be the title of this chapter? Do I call this chapter: “My Senior Homecoming”? Is that what’s really important? Or do I call it: “The Tribal Cross Country Season”? Do I call it: “The Start of Senior Year”? Or maybe I call it: “Creating The Life of an Idiot“?

What is important enough to me right now that it deserves to be a chapter title? What is important enough to you?

I don’t always have the answer to that question. I don’t always know what my chapter title would be. It’s always hard to know in the moment. Reflection is the key to understanding. Reflecting upon past events and past years, it’s easier to determine what I would title each chapter.

That’s really part of why I created this blog. This blog has chapters. Each post is like a new chapter. Maybe not a new chapter in my Life but they all represent new thoughts. Thoughts that I’m reflecting upon to draw more out of Life…And maybe that’s why entertaining the thought: “What would the book of my Life be like?” isn’t such a bad idea. Reflecting upon past events and thinking about them critically, thinking about what was important in that moment, (what was the chapter title) can reveal a lot about yourself.

At least, that’s what I’ve discovered from writing this. That’s what I’ve discovered from writing about the Life of an Idiot.

So, think about your past. It doesn’t do to dwell, but it can’t hurt to ponder. Think about what’s important to you. Think about the book of your Life. And think about what this chapter should be called.

Reflection is the key to understanding.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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