What Now?

I lay on my couch and think that karma or God or whatever really likes to spit on the nice guy. I use the word spit instead of another word that rhymes because I promised my mom that I would try to stop cussing so much.

In the last week, some of the most foundation-shaking things have happened to me, and yes they all have pertained to my Invictus story. In actuality, things like this have been happening to all of the Invictus writers all semester. I can’t help like feeling like we’re cursed somehow.

Or maybe we’re just finally beginning to see and understand things much more critically. No, no, we’re definitely cursed as well.

I’ve heard the phrase “you think too much,” more times than I can count. And I do. I get so inside my head that I can spend hours in there thinking about everything and anything. If you think that sounds insane, try being the one who deals with it on a daily basis.

I’ve found out that I come from a long line of depression and alcoholism. And now, as I sit here on my quiet couch and think about everything that has happened between the six of us, I can’t help but feel the cloud settle over me.I know it’ll pass eventually. Something will happen maybe tomorrow or by the end of the week that will pull me up out of my mind.

As a writing group, we’ve all realized that our stories, both for Invictus and in life, are still in the process of being written. The question that has been running in my mind for a week now, the one that brings that cloud ever closer is, “What do we do now?”

And that’s the question isn’t it. What now? What do you do when your path seems hidden from you, or you question who you want to be, or you wonder if you’ll ever get the thing you’ve desired for your entire life.

But the beautiful and brilliant thing that I’ve come to realize about this question is that it’s not just a cloud. It’s a silver lining. Looking back on my past, I’ve always thought that things just happen and you can’t do anything about it. It’s a product of being young and believing you’re a victim of the world. And yes, sometimes things do happen that are out of your control. But you have a choice.

You can choose to keep writing your story, or you can keep going back in your head and editing, and rewriting, and re-editing things that have already been written. The six of us, with all of our baggage and damaged goods, have forgotten that along the way.

I think about the blank pages I still have to finish before this project is over, about the blank pages that I will continue to fill throughout my life. I don’t know when or where the last page will end. But for the first time I can remember, when I ask myself the question, “What now,” I have a smile on my face when I answer back, “I don’t know.”