Living each day much muchier
The trick to drawing your way out of a paper bag is just to draw a door.
We imagine that life should be lived a certain way. There are milestones to meet and acceptable time frames to do them in. Society agrees that this is a good, fulfilled life.
Even if you don’t really want to live that way, a part of you does. It feels like you should.
Grow up. Graduate. Get a job. Travel. Sleep around. Fall in love. Get a better job. Travel some more. Marry. Do some post-grad study. Buy a house. Procreate. Buy a bigger house. Get a better job. Raise your kids. Have ‘projects’ around the house. Divorce. Pick up a new hobby. Marry again. Raise a step family. Semi retire. Downsize. Travel some more. Play bingo in a retirement village. The end.
You may not do some of this. The order might vary. Overall, this is how you draw a life.
It’s a very good life. It brings joy and satisfaction to billions of people.
But what if you can’t? What if you don’t want to live like that?
What if you need the world to be a strange adventure and the idea of paint by numbers is both compelling and completely horrifying?
You feel like a failure. Something must wrong with you. Couldn’t draw your way out of a paper bag!
Not everyone is going to relate to this. I’m not talking about moments where you despair that you’ll never get that job or get married or have kids or own a house.
I’m talking about doing life differently. Doing none of those things.
If you’re one of those people, you have a choice. Draw yourself a door.
Maybe you’ll do it clumsily, fearfully and with an occasional wistful glance, but draw your own way through.
You won’t know whether your door will lead to satisfaction or despair. There are no milestones to mark success. No-one understands where you’re going, not even you.
The one thing you’ll know, what you should stand firm in knowing, is that it’s the opposite of failure.
You had the courage to be yourself.