Plot Twist!

By: Emma Johnston

I’m a super geek and I love to read. I mostly like interesting and exciting books – I love adventure stories and stories of courage and defying the odds, I love dystopian novels, and crime and romance and mystery. Basically, fiction that is full of surprises. A good story to me is one that keeps me on the edge of my seat. Like a good movie, never really knowing what will happen next, surprised with each new path in the plot, the more interesting the better!

I remember the last time I read a boring book – I was in high school (I don’t waste time on boring books now) and I picked up a “nice” book about a girl who wasn’t allowed to do art in her community, then, she overcame the odds and did her art and everybody was happy. The end. Literally the most boring piece of fiction I have ever suffered through. Nothing happened! No major plot change, no depth of character, no unsolvable mysteries. Boring beginning, middle and end. In the first page I’d guessed what the final outcome would be – and I was right.

Dull. Uninspired, no depth.

In fiction, I like a good journey, lots of twists and turns and surprises. I expect to be taken on a whirlwind of adventure – but in real life?

In real life I think most of us tend to like the orderly, organized and planned, better than the uncertainty we read in books. We like to think we’ve got everything under control. That we can plan out, piece together and follow a regimented structure for our lives.

I remember the week that I became a mom. My son, who turned 10 this past Friday was born all healthy and smooshed and looking like a tiny baby. I was so prepared to be a new mom. I had everything planned and I knew exactly the type of mother I was going to be. The nursery was perfect, I had every newborn outfit prewashed and folded and put away. I’d sterilized the entire house, bought special baby soaps and creams and music. I’d had 6 baby showers and had everything from a wet wipe warmer (apparently that’s a real thing) to a state of the art baby monitor, to baby hats, mittens, booties, – you name it, I had it. I was ready. I’d read every book. I was prepared.

Then I came home from the hospital. And literally, from that moment forward, all my plans and thoughts and strategies about motherhood went flying out the window.
My Kid was colic and cried – all the time!
And he could poop! Not nice little baby sized poops, but great big up the back, over the head, down through his toes kind of poops.
And he never, ever slept.
The truth, is that regardless of the fact that I was SO prepared, despite the prenatal classes I took and the books I read and the friends I talked to, nothing about parenting was really the way I had pictured it.

From that moment on my entire life has been full of challenges, adventures, and unexpected situations that have taken my carefully laid plans and consistently dumped them on my head.

Yet, it occurred to me the other day that a good story, a good LIFE STORY, probably includes quite a few plot twists and unexpected surprises throughout. That my life is better, more interesting, probably more fun (though definitely not easier) because of all those edge of my seat moments that keep me on my toes.

There’s a quote that says “every time I’m faced with a surprise in life, I just throw up my hands and yell, ‘Plot Twist!’”

I’ve spent most of my life resisting these types of plot twists. I like things to fall into place. I like being prepared, having a plan, knowing what is to come next, and yet it seems that life (at least my life) has a very different story in the works.

Every time I think I’ve got things figured out – PLOT TWIST!
As soon as I’ve got a long term strategy for my career, finances, family, health – PLOT TWIST!
As soon as I’m certain of a particular path or direction – PLOT TWIST!

But with Easter and the idea of new life and fresh starts, spring and redemption, I’ve decided to start embracing those plot twists. I want to find joy and adventure in the uncertainty of life. I want to be okay with new plans and new ideas and new paths.

This doesn’t mean I’m not going to plan and prepare for my future, but it means I’m going to trust that my life’s story will be incredible, far from boring or mundane. Full of ups and downs, twists and turns, restarts and plot twists.

I don’t want a boring story – dull and uninspired. I want one packed with adventure, courage and defying the odds.

I want to look on my life and have a great story to tell.

So, from now on, I’m going to look at those surprises in life, those new paths and unexpected events, and I’m going to throw up my arms, and yell – Plot twist!

Because, the one thing I don’t have any patience for, is a boring story!

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