When Your Story Starts

This is probably going to sound like a very familiar plot line. The protagonist is in a rut of some kind. Maybe they're too career-oriented. Or maybe, it's the opposite; they're too much of a player (there's probably a fancier term for this, but hey, it gets the point across.) They're down on their luck, or in and out of bad relationships. Their lives lack adventure and spontaneity. They're about to give up on love and excitement and happiness forever, but just as this happens, they meet the one. That one guy or girl who the protagonist falls for... hard. That one person who can get them out of their rut and help them move onto bigger and better things. So many films and books have used this plot line that the term "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" has been coined to describe female characters whose only role is to help their male partners sort out their life and make some much-needed changes. Examples of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl can be seen in Elizabethtown, 500 Days of Summer and Garden State. Movies, books, and music videos start their story right before the protagonist meets the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (or guy). Because this is when things get interesting; up until this point, the protagonist was boring and predictable, living a life far from worthy of its own movie.

But in real life, can you really afford to sit around and wait for someone to inspire you to finally pursue you dreams? There is no script, no cue for an oh-so whimsical and carefree (and usually pretty darn attractive) person to just waltz into your life and force you to rearrange it. I know I tend to write a lot about relationships and being single; it's called being a teenage girl. But, this isn't about romance or relationships or finding "the one." This is about a bigger picture. The bigger picture is that you can't just wait around for someone to walk into your life and turn your whole world upside down. You can't spend your time hoping to meet some Manic Pixie Dream Girl (or Guy). And, you also shouldn't be someone's Manic Pixie Dream Girl or Guy. You can't expect to meet someone who'll make you change your ways and force you to be a better person. And you can't wait for opportunity or adventure to just come to you.

You have to turn your world upside down (unless you're chill with it as it is. I don't know your life). You have to seek out adventure and make your own opportunities. Yes, sometimes good things can and will just happen to you. But, you can't just expect things to happen. You have to make things happen. This all goes back to the truth that we so often forget: You don't need someone else to complete you. You are whole and 100 percent complete as you are. It's your choice and responsibility to make your own decisions; no one else can nor should do it for you. Plus, it feels a million times more exhilarating to do something daring because you truly wanted to, not because your dream guy or gal told you to.

If you want to go on a road trip, then make those plans (and save up for some gas money). If you want to change your major or career path, then go for it. If you want to stop making excuses and start living the life you want, do it. In real life, there is no guarantee that a Manic Pixie Dream Girl or Dude is going to show up just at the right moment. Therefore, your story --filled with adventure and freedom and learning experiences -- is not waiting on someone else to start. Your story starts whenever you want it to.