I passed by a woman sitting on the street yesterday. I have seen her set up her blanket every week for months in same spot. Her skin has been pummeled by the sun, her clothes tattered by the street, and a pained expression carved into her face. Like every day, she was holding her cardboard sign with her message of circumstance written in pen. There were at least three pen marks per letter, some a different color, that scratched her message into the cardboard sign; her anthem. From her seemingly practiced pattern, it might as well have been etched in stone.
As I bent down to put money in her jar—my weekly ritual—I thought about the stories that we tell. The stories that we tell ourselves, like, “just wait till I lose that ten pounds, then I’ll finally be able to start dating again,” or “nobody in my family goes to college—why should I try?” or even, “yeah right, like I can afford that!” All of these are stories that we have etched onto our cardboard signs, and carried with us all day, every day. They have become patterns of belief that do nothing but restrict us to living exactly what we’ve written; restrict our potential to the confines of a nine-by-thirteen piece of emotional cardboard.
People talk about how we are living the “movie of our lives.” It is true. And if we don’t write the script, then someone else will. And I guarantee if you let someone else script the story of your life, they are writing themselves into the starring role. So, don’t cast yourself as a supporting character in your own life. Don’t limit yourself to cameos that just enter during holidays, or vacations, because you want to escape your daily life. You are a star. The star. And you should be treated as such, paid as such, and end up with a full heart, an open spirit and a transformed soul by the time the credits role.
Put one thing on your “to do” list that is solely for you—that is something you have wanted to pursue, to learn, to experience or to make. Do it. Do it because it’s your movie. You deserve to tell yourself a good story. A loving story. A story of triumph. And if you don’t give yourself all the good lines, then you have given someone else power over you. You have made others the producer, director and editor of your own film. And no one else should determine or affect your character.
The bottom line is: If you want to know what’s going to happen next in your life...script it. Create it.
It’s your movie…
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]