Manchester, UK

On Second Thought – The Story Can Always Change Midway

I love the idea of a blind test. Picking something up because it ‘called to me’ or choosing another just because I wanted to be edgy and do something I rarely do. I find things pique my interest more the less I know about them.
Some may say it’s human nature to want to bite into the forbidden fruit or maybe it’s instinctual to want to touch the burning flames like a curious child. The more out of reach things appear, the more enticing they seem. I would, of course, agree.

I’ve been reading a book lately in my attempt to achieve my goal of reading more this year, and my experience with it, well, has had me caught up in my thoughts.

Jumping into foreign pages is one of my favourite things to do. The books on my bookcase, both physical and digital, have one thing in common; they were all chosen pretty randomly.
I’ve mentioned this previously, but when I pick a book, I like to do it with blindfolds on – metaphorically of course. Whether I see a title that catches my eyes, someone I follow posts a picture with one sticking out in the background of their selfie, or I find it in the ‘more like this’ pile; the less I know the more I want to know.
Of course, diving into the unknown comes with its own set of risks. At times you discover a treasure hidden beneath uneven land whilst other times you find yourself wishing you never took that dive in the first place.

Whenever I choose a new book, the first thing I want to do is assess my surroundings in it. I always imagine myself stepping into a new world and watching from the sidelines as the first words begin to paint a vivid picture. Then I start to get a little closer to the characters presented. I get to know them, understand them, empathise with them. The closer I get to the characters that come to life through the pages, I start to walk in their shoes a little, rooting for them like I would my favourite team whilst hoping their story lives up to my expectation. Maybe, that’s the way to tell you have a good book in hand; when you hold it up to high expectations.

Well, I was hoping I never opened the first chapter the more I read this one. I was yawning through many of the pages and falling into dreamland too soon whenever I laid down to read at night. It wasn’t the worst book I had ever picked up by any chance, but I was feeling no sort of attachment to the story or its characters. As I flipped through the pages and rolled my eyes some more, I couldn’t help but wish I had picked a different story off my shelf. Maybe I didn’t hate it, but I certainly did not love it and after some time I began to avoid the book entirely.
Gradually, the time I’d normally set apart for reading became the best for just about anything else and I certainly contemplated ditching the story altogether. I had done it before and could surely do it again. I’m guessing if I had, the words you’re reading right now would be very different…

After getting a much sought-after appointment with my hairdresser, I was very excited for a change in my look after many weeks. Braiding my hair is something I do so often I normally prepare a survival kit of all the things I may need for over six hours sat tight in a chair. This time, however, I had just returned from a busy morning that consisted in running from one store to another and getting soaked by a violent downpour of rain. Given the situation, the only thing I could take with me in time to not piss off a kind Uber driver who had already been patient enough was a super-mini bag in which I could only fit in some cookies and my Kindle Paperwhite.

I sat in the uncomfortable chair that would be mine for the many hours that followed and reluctantly took out my Kindle hoping the hours would go by faster.

As Tessi combed through my hair, I combed through those pages in a way I just hadn’t before. Digesting every word, consuming every page, I began to find beauty in a story that once bored me.
In the hours I spent sitting in that chair, my mindset towards the book changed completely as I rushed through it, and by the time I was booking my taxi back home that night, I was very thirsty to find out how the rest of the story was going to unfold.

It served as a reminder that sometimes the story can change midway. It can progressively morph into something different than what you expected, piquing your interest, and making you wonder how the story will end. Patience is a virtue and although it’s never been mine, I’m learning that many times one has to be patient enough to dig through the messy and ugly before they may find any hidden gems beneath.

I guess in a way, I couldn’t help but give the meaning behind this a second thought as I feel it’s very much the reminder I needed at this moment in my life.
I’ve really been working hard this year, putting all my energy and thoughts into achieving the goals I set for myself. It is hard however not to get discouraged when despite all your efforts things still are not looking up.

Life is somewhat of a blind test. We get thrust into it by no choice of our own and then are expected to do a dance we don’t really know so well. There’s a song in the background and a rhythm to the madness, but at times it plays at such a low volume you cannot really hear it. So, you dance and dance some more, praying that somehow you are keeping up with the beat and not making a downright fool of yourself.
It can feel daunting to put in so much effort and see no return. It can feel like putting on a show to a sleeping crowd or playing a game in front of your opponent’s fans. You wait for them to cheer you on, but they never do.
In moments like this, knowing that it’s not over until it’s over is very important.

‘The Story Can Always Change Midway’
‘The Story Can Always Change Midway’
‘The Story Can Always Change Midway’

The more I repeat it to myself the more hope I have that the phase of life I am in now will not be forever. The moments that hurt me or seem uninteresting, those too will change. Now, whether what’s to come is a plot twist I’ll enjoy is yet to be seen or determined.

The truth is there are parts of our life where patience is required. There are moments when we need to allow our efforts to transform and develop into the things we’ve hoped for or the ones we never expected.

I think the beauty of ‘blind-testing’ a life as opposed to reading about one in a book is the fact that you don’t have to stand by the sidelines and watch as life unfolds. No, you really don’t. Instead, you get to seat at the steering wheel, driving in whichever direction you see fit. You have more control over the twists and turns, and until the very last page, you don’t have to settle for a boring story. As you are steering the wheel of your life or doing the damn dance you never got to rehearse, remember that everyone else is doing it for the first time too, and if you are patient enough your story can always change midway too.

Your restless romantic roamer

Click here to read more posts from the ON SECOND THOUGHT series

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