A friend on Facebook posted one of those inspirational JPEGs that are supposed to make you feel better and all warm inside. I did not bite. In fact, I railed against it.
It said, “Life is like a book. Some chapters are sad, some are happy. But if you never turn the page, you will never know what the next chapter holds.”
I have a big drag-queen-up-in-your-grill problem with that. Life is NOT a book. Nothing has been written. You don’t have to turn the page. Your days have not been pre-written and you are not following any kind of script.
Pages are flat and two-dimensional, and a book is a collection of flatness going from point A to point B. It’s the same story no matter how many times you read it.
Life is more like making a claymation movie. You are creating a brand new world all around yourself that no one has ever seen before, because the world you create can only be seen by your eyes. We might all share the same bright colors of clay, but what we mold them into is anyone’s guess and anyone’s dream.
We create our own reality with the same raw materials. But where we all end up can be quite different. I molded my world from altar boy to seminarian to out-of-the-closet gay rights radical to rodeo cowboy to fundraising glitter drag queen to university marketing director. That’s a lot of worlds to squeeze into one lifetime and that doesn’t even cover half of it. I know there’s more to come.
Some people create just one world and are happy to live in it the rest of their life. I have friends from grade school who are still living in the same little Missouri town I grew up in. They built their world in the Ozarks and never felt the need to change it one bit.
One of my high school classmates, who slept next to me (and was apparently sleeping with several of the other seminarians right under my nose), is now an ordained priest in Illinois. He built his closeted world inside the tapestry-covered walls of the Catholic Church.
Every year at Burning Man, 70,000 people come together to build a world of art, music, and fire that only exists for a week. And that world contains worlds within. So many that you can never experience them all.
And that’s what is so great about the worlds we create — they all intersect and overlap. Worlds can be shared, visited, or completely avoided. The intersection of worlds can be very exciting but unfortunately sometimes quite violent. Cue any news from the Middle East.
If you find that your world is stuck, don’t turn the page. Instead, grab some colorful clay and start remolding. The possibilities are limitless. Know that you create your own reality. You are the sculptor of your own life.