I’ve heard many a renowned writer recommend drawing inspiration from your own life. But what if your own life is just… uninspired? I’ve noticed a trend in myself that makes sure to keep me on my toes even when I’m in a rut. Especially when I’m in a rut.
This afternoon, with about an hour to spare before work, I decided to turn my car around on a muddy, gravelly slope at the end of a dead end street. When my wheels started spinning, I decided to continuously swivel around, looking for new escape routes, but effectively sinking my car further into the loam. The clencher? I’d left my phone at home.
I walked 20 minutes back to my house, grabbed an empanada and called AAA, then booked it back to my car on foot to arrive just as the tow truck pulled up. I made it to work with time to spare and minimal mud splattered on my skirt. This is not a singular story in my life. This is one episode in my ongoing sitcom of stuck cars, hiking down mountains after sunset by the light of a cell phone, keys locked in a running car, keys locked inside of a house while collecting firewood in the snow in my pajamas, keys locked inside of a school building with swathes of students arriving for childcare and no where to use the restroom.
What an idiot! you must be thinking. She must have no common sense at all.
Well, you’re not too far off. The truth is, I do have that common sense. I heard the voice in my head say, “That looks a little too muddy for the ole Camry. Probably best to back it up and turn around in someone’s driveway.” But I’ve spent the last 28 years ignoring that voice. Why start listening now? I haven’t yet dug myself a hole – or a rut – that I couldn’t get out of. And my mishaps always seem to make a good story.
I don’t recommend this route to creating a story-filled life. Learn new things, travel to faraway places, and forge relationships with interesting people. But even when you do, you will occasionally find yourself stuck in a rut. Don’t sweat it. Just call a tow truck, or a friend, and think of what a great story it will make once you get out.