I just read a little book on life after death called The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, by Annie Kagan. You’ll have to read it yourself to understand the title and the whole story (which I do recommend). But in it, Billy describes a phase of the afterlife in which you are surrounded (I pictured it like Saturn’s Rings) with a holographic movie screen that replays your life. The film is interactive, virtual, and presented without judgment… As the viewer, you’re able to explore the variations of your life could have taken, as many possibilities as you wish. What if you would have married someone else? What if you’d chosen a different career path? Billy’s advice? Make your life as interesting and adventurous as possible. Have fun with it!
Now my interpretation: It’s just a life, it’s not the end of the world! And you are the screenwriter, the director, the editor—and don’t worry so much about what the critics will think, because you’re also the audience—so what do you want to see from your life?
This line of thought made me think of a movie I saw recently called Mr. Turner, about 19th-century English painter J.M.W. Turner. The truth is, it was slow. Interesting, but slow. And long. One group actually walked out about two hours in. I stayed, and I’m glad I did, although it was a bit sad.
What if your life were made into a movie? Would people want to stay and see it? Would you want to see it? How would you want it to end? What if you knew you had total control over the story line? We’ve all heard the question, ‘If your life were a movie, who would play you?'” But the truth is, you’re already the star of your own movie. So make it a good one. A blockbuster!
Some people say my life would make a good movie, but I always say I’m not ready yet because I still don’t know how it’s going to end! Of course, for anyone who knows me even marginally well, you know I’m working toward a happy ending. Or let’s say a dozen little happy endings.
Anyway, my point is, take some time and think about your life through the lens of a movie camera—your movie camera. Own it, direct it, have fun with it. Make it one that people will feel good watching and be happy when it ends well.
Or not. It’s your movie!