Before I dive into what I want to discuss, I have a bit of context to elaborate on. First off, when was anybody going to inform me that writing a short story is more difficult and confusing than Inception? Seriously, I’ve been at it for about three weeks and can someone tell me why can’t I find a structured storyline that doesn’t make me want to slam my face into my keyboard?
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Similar to every writer that has ever existed, I wanted to mobilize a unique and insightful storyline to put forth a distinct perspective regarding, well, my personal ideals and imagination. I have to admit, I was experiencing a bit of that “pandemic fatigue” that the doctors and psychiatrists are writing about, so I was slowly succumbing to the stress and anxiety that overcame my mind. Writer’s block is a real thing, I have discovered.
I hadn’t previously faced this fatigue in the earlier phases of the pandemic because I was working on my college applications which required the entirety of my brain capacity, anxiety, and time management. However, once I submitted those applications, I sank into the reality that I was actually going to have to find more things to do with my time rather than work and write. This was a tad difficult for me, given that I was limited to strict rules regarding social interaction (with reasonable caution). I don’t know if you can tell, but focusing during quarantine is not a strength of mine. As my uncle put it, we tend to work tirelessly for about two weeks and then collapse under boredom.
As a recovering perfectionist, I abhorred this feeling and needed to find something to turn the wheels in my mind. Well, I wasn’t necessarily looking for a “coping mechanism,” but rather something to occupy my imagination and creative energy without a potential lure for anxiety. Hence, my inclination to write a short story. But what to write about? Well, you know what they say: inspiration is everywhere.
You see, my inspiration came to me the day after my birthday when my family and I took a forty-five minute road trip to Dripping Springs for a picnic. We decided to explore the area in hopes of discovering unique and scenic views, but instead, we found rental casitas! Bear with me here…
At first, I didn’t understand the fascination and excitement that my family shared after finding a couple of houses that people can rent for their own personal staycations. However, after driving around for minutes that seemed to never end and exploring the breathtakingly isolated and gorgeous scenery that surrounded us, I finally understood the appeal.
These casitas weren’t just Westlake families’ ways of flaunting their wealth and privilege, but outlets for a new storyline.
Think about it like this, when you’re driving down a road, a downtown street, or a highway, you’re passing and falling behind a variety of supporting characters in your own personal story, but for everyone else, you’re the supporting character in theirs. Millions of cars drive on these roads every day and society ignores the obvious mystery that this situation creates: what about their story? Similarly, neighborhoods consisted of casitas have hundreds of guests that check in every month and for the majority of the time, neglect the possibility of a relationship between the people that live not twenty feet away.
I guess I find it odd that the people we live so close to, the people we pass by every day, the people who undergo the same experiences we do, are sometimes the hardest to build relationships with. While driving around the casitas in Dripping Springs, I found not just a potential staycation for my friends and I, but a possibility for a bolder future.
This wasn’t just inspiration for my short story, but it also reminded me of a phenomenon quite similar to The Bachelor. Again, bear with me here. Other than the network’s narrow focus on marriage, the audience embarks on a somewhat in-depth investigation of each contestants’ life. Whether you believe this is fake or not, the show does consist of a variety of backgrounds, sometimes including the most minute details that come back to bite love in the butt.
I’d like to disclose that I am not recommending any type of application to Bachelor Nation shows, but rather using shows such as The Bachelor and Bachelorette to create a visual. What it helps us analyze is the fact that stories and lives are ten times more interesting when we observe the extensive impact others have on them. Sure, one person’s story is easier to scoop and analyze, but that’s not necessarily life, is it?
Life is undergoing personal experiences and learning from one’s own mistakes while also meeting and discovering new people from a variety of stories to endure this painful process. Sometimes, the impact that a single person can have on someone’s life is greater than any one mistake because he or she crawled through the mud with you.
All that’s to say that I didn’t end up writing my short story about this specific ideal (but did convince my dad to). Instead, I wrote about the duality in the effects of imagination rabbit holes. Funny enough, that’s practically what this blog post was for. I can escape reality, write about it, and influence others utilizing these outlets, but at the end of the day, it’s up to my audience to take a stand with me.
What I urge you to do is to make bold choices in regards to every lemon life gives you. Find the crux of not just your story, but your friends’ and family’s. I believe that right then and there will we have just taken a major step toward a collective good.