Monday, May 25, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - A Life in Three Acts

With such beautiful weather in New York today, I headed to the park to continue reading Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. At the start of chapter 16, Michael Davis opens with the line "sometimes life in like the movies, a story in 3 acts." I've been thinking about that line, particularly with respect to my post from yesterday about being in a state of flux with a dash of confusion.

Davis reminded me that in act 2, there is always a series of challenges that the protagonist has to work through. I wonder now at the ripe old age of 33 if I'm at the tail end of the first act or have just entered the second act of my life. This slight act of separation, some might call it delusion, helped me think a little more clearly today. I'm able at this moment to step away from my life a bit, and just observe what's happening in context of a broader set of possible outcomes.

It also helps to know that in every great story there are always twists and turns, that few if any read like fairy tales of sweetness and light. There are fairy tale moments, though they tend to not be the ones that are the most interesting or insightful. The trade-off for learning and insight is often a bit of struggle and discomfort. It involves rising when all we feel like doing is laying low. It asks us to be greater spirits than we believe we can be.

Surviving and thriving through act 2 requires us to take a deep breathe, several if necessary, put our heads down, and get to work, on ourselves and on the exterior circumstances that effect us so that we can sail into act 3, riding high, wiser and more certain of our direction. It helps if our co-stars, friends and family, can help us - a protagonist rarely appears in act 3 triumphant as an island. Guides and assistance often appear as the plot lines intertwine with growing complications, exactly when we need them.

A story takes a while to unravel, to reveal itself to the audience, and to the protagonist. There will be moments of confusion and tough choices to make. It's all part of the drama and the comedy; it's all part of life.


Laura Cococcia said...

This is fantastic perspective - I now want to read the book! It's so interesting to think about our lives in distinct chapters or movie scenes - so true - it's all a story. Thanks for sharing Christa!

Christa said...

Hi Laura! I highly recommend the book - I'm a huge Sesame Street fan and love learning the back story of how that wonderful, beautiful project came to be.