Sunday, April 19, 2015

beginning, middle, end

I read a lot, when I was a teenager.  I wanted to be a writer.  Not necessarily for a living; I didn't think about it that way.  I just wanted to create, linguistically.  I attempted to write numerous stories, but couldn't get anywhere.  I'd come up with the intro of a scene, it's characters, but then I'd just ramble aimlessly about the environment and eventually give up.  Countless times.

I couldn't even make my character in a story go anywhere.

My best assessment of what was going wrong, at the time, was that I couldn't seem to wrap my head around any sort of progression.  I couldn't come up with even the flimsiest of plotlines.  I'd spend all sorts of time thinking up characters, or drawing maps of fantastical locations, but a story seemed to be a magic trick I could make no heads or tales of.

Incidentally, I've come to hate stories.  Especially in video games.  I just want to play the damn game.  Even TV, and Movies, though.  Those books I used to read so much of- I don't do a lot of that, these days.  It occurs to me that even when I did enjoy reading, I don't know that I payed much attention to the storyline, per se.  I just enjoyed getting lost in the world the story took place in.  I enjoyed everything that fleshed out a narrative, but never thought much of the linear cohesion of it.

My first therapist, when I was about eleven years old, noted that I seem to have trouble seeing the trees, for the forest.  She introduced me to the idea of "chunking," that is, breaking goals down into manageable steps.  I don't think the idea ever really took root, except in the way I assimilated the concept into my greater worldview.  A component of the larger picture.  A variable in the equation, just another tree in the forest.

Maybe that's just how my brain works, and a better approach would be learning to work with that, instead of in spite of it.  Not that I have any idea what that would look like, but I suspect that it might be a more realistic approach than trying to change how we think.

It just strikes me as interesting that I've come back around to such a similar explanation, decades later.  Not sure whether it speaks to the veracity of the idea, or just my neurotic obsession with the same old nutty thought experiments.

Either way, it has to be better than this notion that any explanation is an excuse, and that we just need to stop being who we are.  A trick I've not seen many people pull off, in my life.

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