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The suspense could, quite possibly, kill me…

By February 22, 2010How To, Myth or Reality, Writing

It’s not quite as glorious as it sounds. I figured out how to see and control my future. But only my bleak one. And bonus, it’s very easy to do – anyone can play!

This magical skill that I’ve developed is born from an inability to deal with anticipation, with not knowing. In other words: the suspense is killing me.

In reality, I only have one question that I need to have answered. If you look at all the story threads that I have in my life (work, writing, relationships, health, family, etc.) – I want to know one thing and one thing only: Will it turn out for better or for worse?

Like I said, the suspense is killing me. So, the brilliant thing to do is just kill the suspense, right? I mean, if you think about, it is completely in my power to make sure none of those things come true – and then I’ll have my answer: it will turn out for worse. I can stop writing, I can stop running and I can sit around all day doing nothing but eating hotdogs, using Twinkies as a bun. And, just like that, I don’t have to wonder if the fame, glory, health and dollar bills are headed my way. I’ve taken control of my future and satisfied my curiosity.

Yeah, not gonna happen.

I would never purposefully sabotage my life or my pursuits just to abate my anxiety. But, you’ve got to admit, there’s something really seductive about knowing that I could. That if I really needed my answer, I could get it. It’s like the ‘myth of control’ loophole.

I do want to see the future, how this will all play out, NOW. But, I understand…that’s not how it works. How it works is that we show up for it, we move in it, we talk through it, we write about it…and eventually we find out what’s behind those elusive curtains.

And you know what? I believe it’s all good stuff back there. Don’t you? If we didn’t, we’d be much more tempted to chuck it all in the trash…wouldn’t we?

Image credit: The Real Estreya

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • KatFrench says:

    Ohmygoodness, Julie. You have no idea how close to home this post hits me today. There is a point when you are thrashing about in the anxiousness of plans that haven’t reached fruition yet and backup plans that you aren’t sure will back you up…

    Thanks for writing this. It absolutely spoke to me, and I’m sure it will to others. :)

  • Mary says:

    I think not knowing the future is what keeps us going. I am older than you and frankly, if I knew the failures I was going to face, the illness I would fight, the friends I would lose to early deaths….I probably would have given up long ago. And I survived all these things.

    The truth is all those things have brought me to where I am today, something I might not have seen or appreciated by just knowing a simple fact. Knowing the future might have scared me away from moving through the fear and the grief to something greater. Would I have chosen not to love my friends knowing they would leave so abruptly or through such pain? Would I have chosen to not try something that ended up enriching my experience while financially bankrupting me if I knew in advance it would fail? Would I have been paralyzed by fear if I knew I would be diagnosed with cancer?

    Maps are great but they don’t really tell the whole story, do they? I think when we lay out our plans and goals we have to imagine the best and the worst and then choose the best route on our own maps, to the best of our abilities.

    I love that you imagined the worst and then moved on. I think it was Jack Canfield that said we might as well go ahead and ask for something because if we don’t ask, the answer is already no. That’s a given. If we ask, the answer could be maybe or even yes! I equate those no’s with the worst that can happen…

    Thanks for a great post!
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Favorite Movies =-.

  • Isao says:

    I like the advise: just kill off the suspence. I used to remind myself “Everything that happens in my life is the best outcome” because we aren’t gonna know the other outcomes, right? But that one make me lazy very easily, so better using only when down..
    .-= Isao´s last blog ..Rediscovering blog identity =-.

  • Jed says:

    One of your best postings since I have been following you. Very, very insightful…and…as KatFrench said…it hits very close to home.

    The reality for me is that we create the future day by day, step by step. I’ve never been sure that one’s future is “out there” somewhere to be observed by a seer. I can look at today, see what I’m doing to forge a future, and anticipate what effect that might have upon that which is emerging. All the more reason to be wise about the present; daily choices do count!

  • Lindsey says:

    Thank you.
    A deliciously funny and articulate summary of EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT I have in my head right now.

  • Julie Roads says:

    I’m starting to think we need to start a club or something….!!!

  • Lorne says:

    In her books, Barbara Sher writes about this – what she calls overcoming resistance. We are all influenced by instinctive brains that caution us against any kind of risk. Often, we need to take conscious steps to step over or around that resistance.

  • JR Moreau says:

    I like the act of destroying things in my life… or at least thinking about it.. it keeps me honest about what I really value and what I’m being neurotic or shallow over.

    Hope the suspense breaks soon :-)
    .-= JR Moreau´s last blog ..Keep Your People Up =-.

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