This is how your story begins. You read that correctly. YOUR story, and yes, this is the beginning - with you reading my words.
There was nothing else before this. Your world, your universe, begins with my words, and you. You've come into this world reading my words. This is the truth - your life before this has been a lie. A lie which I crafted.
You could try proving me wrong. You could confirm with your friends and family that the events you experienced did indeed happen. But I've just written their memories too, so what's to say they won't be telling you the same lies that they too have been fed?
Perhaps 'lie' is the wrong choice of word. I wouldn't call every author who’s ever written a novel, or rather any person ever who’s come up with a tale in their life a liar. Fiction - your story is fictional, and I your author. Every memory you've ever had, tragic and euphoric, endless and timeless, melancholic and mellow, frightful and fun - all of that and more – it was I who placed these in your mind.
But that by no means makes them worthless. Just because they haven't happened in my reality, doesn't mean the feelings, the wisdom gained, and the experiences aren't real in yours. I've given you these memories to dwell on, look back on and grow from.
The awful pain of your first heartbreak which you thought would be eternal, you've moved on from that, and now understand yourself so much better. The childhood memories you reminisce so fondly over and wish everything was as simple as it was back then; they're there to remind you to take a break for a change; to recover your energy. That time you ate a block of soap from the sink, thinking it was a bit of mozzarella you accidentally threw away; you know now not to put random things in your mouth that's been left lying around.
Ok maybe that last one has only happened to me for now. But you keep laughing and I'll write that in for you so you'll suffer the same mistake too! But just as I know better now, I've given you these memories for you to grow as a character
Those painful heart-aching moments which crushed your soul, the mournful grieving for loved ones you've lost, the nights you cried yourself to sleep, the moments you felt the entire world was stacked against you – those are all part of your ‘tragic backstory’. I could have made it much worse for you. Let’s both be glad that I didn’t. Though I must say, I was VERY tempted to.
I wanted my readers to really feel the pain you’ve held onto for so long. I want them to shed every bitter tear that you ever poured from the depths of your soul. I wanted them to cheer their voices out for you, to pray that you overcome your tragedies, overcome the impossible odds and reign victorious. I wanted them to take great pride in you, watch their hero break free from the shackles of their tragic past and rise to glory. I wanted my readers to marvel at the young, naïve child who grew up so much, who they wondered if they could ever be noticed among this drowning sea of irrelevant fillers, but now shines like the rising sun, shimmering above all others.
(Yeah sorry…slight spoiler alert…but do look forward for that moment to come…)
I'll admit some of your misfortunes are there because they’re just plain funny - breaking the tension a bit. Like that really, REALLY embarrassing thing you did the other day, which you still hate yourself for - oh you know EXACTLY what I'm on about...
But it's not just the bitter memories. The ones you fondly look back on with a sense of nostalgia flooding your mind, I gave them to you to dwell on whenever life seems a bit stagnant and unchanging. The memories you can’t help but erupt with sudden laughter at the mere thought of, even in the most random of public places where you’ll draw judging eyes, darted towards you like metal to a magnet – they’re there to light you up, even in what would seem an eternity of darkness cast over you. The warmth of companionship from friends and family, the love that made you feel so shielded and safe, I gave to you to have a reason to keep fighting for.
All these memories I wrote for you, I want you to treasure each and every one. Perhaps in terms of my world, none of them real. But all of them, every last one matters, because they’re YOUR memories.
Now now, there's no time for an existential crisis. No need to dread the meaning of your existence. My life could be a lie too. I could also be a character written by my own author for all I know - at least I've had the courtesy to tell you the truth. The main thing is to enjoy it, live life the way we were meant to, the way I’ve written you to live.
So what if you have no control? So what if there is no free will? What are you going to do, defy me? I suppose I could give your character a rebellious spirit. Everyone loves a badass; an anti-hero who plays by their own rules. But sadly, that too would be in my control. As you can see, I control your every action and every thought. You can only do and think as I write you to do so.
So what if there is no free will? So what if everything is predetermined? So what if those memories are false? They’re yours, that’s all that matters. You cherish and are haunted by those memories. You feel pain and compassion and sorrow and joy and rage and all of it. It isn’t about what’s real in terms of my world, it’s about what’s real for you, and how that all makes up what and who you are. Don’t just exist – live, feel, Discover. Go venture out there and live it all, go make more memories, go and…
…and I’ve just realised. You don’t know who I am, do you?
In your world, you'll have many names for me. God, Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Ganesh, Zeus, life, death, the force, mother nature, Kami, Zen-Oh, Gaia, Sauron the dark Lord, Cthulhu, the great kings of the past who look down on you from the stars - you get the idea. It keeps me interesting; it keeps me mysterious. you’ll never know who or what I truly am…or if I even do exist…
But I'll tell you the truth. I guess it’s the least I owe you. My name, as a matter of fact, is actually the same as yours. 'Why?' you ask? Because you are the character I aspire to become, the hero I could never live up to be. You may not be perfect in your world, but everything you are, everything you once were, and everything you are yet to be, are all what I wish I could be. Of course, I could always make you the prefect character. You could be the character who everyone in your world loves and aspires to be - a flawless, shining human beacon who sets an example to all your kind... But that's boring
What's a good character if there's nothing you can empathise with - no weakness nor sadness you can relate to? You are flawed, naive, careless, but overall, beautiful. You are so complex and conflicted, and there is so much within you I’m dying to explore. Your potential unlimited, your possibilities endless. You know there is no such thing, but that doesn't stop you constantly changing yourself, growing, reshaping yourself to be perfect - and that's what makes you so damn beautiful
Perhaps you love yourself above all others. Perhaps you struggle to love yourself and overcome your self-worth issues through the course of your journey. Or perhaps you’ll forever live under the burden of your own hatred, which strives you to do better – even if it kills you. Whatever you end up feeling about yourself, know that you are my glorious creation, who I poured all my heart and soul out to bring to life. I will always admire you no matter what. In my eyes you are everything I could ever want in myself.
They say you write the stories which you wish to read, and no one can write a story you’ll love more than the ones you come up with yourself. Perhaps this story may be boring to everyone else, perhaps no one will take interest. Cut me some slack will you! It's only my first story, I'm just getting started. It’s all about taking that first step. It seems like you and I are both going to grow together, side by side. Me as a writer, and you as my main protagonist.
So here we are again, back to your beginning, with you reading my words - that’s all I have left to say to you. Now this is where your story begins. Are you ready? Your grand tale awaits you. I cannot wait to explore the character you develop to become!