Who's Writing Your Story?
One of the cool features of Facebook is On This Day, where it shows you memories of what you posted on a specific date in prior years. I came across this one from Kevin Smith that I shared last year:
I'm gonna close #2016 with a relic from 1989. I briefly dated a girl whose Mom knew I wanted to be a writer. After her daughter and I split up, the Mother handed me a piece of graph paper that was folded up so I couldn't read it in front of her and said to me "If I'm wrong, come find me and I'll eat this." When I got to my car and opened the note, I read something completely unexpected. In tiny words on the large piece of paper she had written "Kevin Smith will never be a famous writer. He does not have the drive. I do wish luck." It was also dated and signed, as if it was an official proclamation about my future. I was only 19 years old and someone had informed me in writing that my dreams would never come true. So I cut away the empty page until only the sentiment itself was left and tacked it to my desk. Later, I put it into a small baseball card frame. It was important to preserve - and not because I wanted the woman to eat it one day. The note served as a constant reminder that NOBODY writes my story but me. Rather than believe this adult who had some minor insight into my character, whenever I looked at this piece of paper, I'd start typing. And one day, I typed a screenplay that changed my life. So as we head into #2017 remember: nobody writes your story but you. This year, write the shit out of your story. Don't let someone else define your future for you: sing your song and show 'em what you're made of. Happy New Year, everybody. Thanks for making the lady wrong...
If you read the comments, some folks think she was putting him down while others suggest that she was motivating him. Sadly, I've seen too many examples of the former to believe it was the latter, whether it's from peers or from those we should be looking up to, such as teachers, or parents of friends.
And the thing is, no one has the right to do that. Sorry - let me correct myself: they have the right to do what they want.
But you don't need to buy it. You don't need to believe it. And you definitely don't need to act on it.
It is and always will be your story.
Don't let anyone else define it for you.