A while ago someone suggested that I change the title of my blog since I was already in the Next Chapter — I should get settled and live in it. I thought about that, and I almost changed it. But, you know, I am beginning to think that life is a series of next chapters. I know, I know, this is not a new metaphor. I’ve even used it before in this blog (My Life is a [fairly] Open Book)! I wouldn’t want to overuse it, but I’m thinking, if it’s a good metaphor, it’s a good metaphor, right?
I love books. My idea of bliss is a day with no commitments, a steady rain, a warm cuppa in one hand, and a satisfying book in the other. I love to get lost in story, to meet characters, to see their crises, and to watch them resolve — or not. And why do I like this? I mean, most of the books that I read are not true….
I’m wondering if it has something to do with wondering about my own story. I mean I am many, many chapters into this book, but I have no idea what is coming next. The Author keeps creating plot twists and introducing new characters. And then, just when I think we have moved on from one plot line, there it is again! And characters that I thought I’d left way back in chapter thirteen or fourteen show up in chapter forty-seven — and they have changed!!
In books there may be plot twists, but they are confined within a boundary of 200 or 300 or, ok, 700 pages. If I keep reading long enough, I will find out what happens in the end.
That’s going to happen in my own story, too, I know…but I’m not very anxious to get to the end. So, even though I’d like some closure, I don’t really want closure. You know what I mean?
I don’t know about you, but there are a few books I have read over and over again, even though I know how they are going to end! What’s up with that? It’s the same way with movies! I will never get tired of watching Sweet Home Alabama or The Shawshank Redemption. Never.
Yet there are many chapters in my own story that I wouldn’t want to think about again, let alone see again. I think it’s safe to say that middle school is one of those chapters. Now, I wouldn’t reliving the births of each of my babies again — really, I’m serious. What scenes those were — true miracles right from my own pages. I wouldn’t mind rewriting a few chapters, though, especially those where I was cranky, or selfish, or just plain mean. But the pages in life’s book only turn one way.
So, I moved to Michigan over a year ago to start a new chapter. Am I still in the same one? I have no idea, I can’t make out the page numbers. I am enjoying the story. The characters continue to amaze me. The plot has its ups and down and even a few twists and turns to keep it interesting.
So, maybe I should change the title after all. I could call it Kristin’s Next ChapterS. Nah, I’ll stick with what I’ve got.
Jeremiah 29:11 Rathje Revised Version
For I know what’s on the next page, and it’s nothing to be afraid of,
I’ve been planning good things for you, and the end of the story has already been written.