Shoulda Just Done It

cliff fjord

If I could see in twenty twen, as Frank Ocean would have it.

Shoulda just jumped. Advice from the old guy.

Close your eyes and jump. Let the exhilaration overtake your senses…and reason. There’s always a way and an opportunity to do it, so I hesitate to say that it ever becomes too late at any point. I don’t believe that there’s only one point in time that allows for an act. I think that the life we live is a cumulative series of acts at multiple points. That being said, it is possible that there would be different opportunities at different points in time if a certain act at a certain point was taken.

Do this one thing at this point in time and all future opportunities are changed. And if the life we live is a series of cumulative points then those points all naturally reside in a different place that make all the opportunities different. Or did I say that already? If I had just jumped and started writing at that far away point in the past, this endpoint is totally different. The series of opportunities are all different. And that agglomeration of them makes the life lived much different. One I’m sure with its own regrets and missed chances but you have to believe that even those are of a very different nature. Not fundamental in nature. More passing and benevolent. Maybe I’m wrong but it feels that way.

Start at the endpoint. Begin with the destination. Writerly advice in narrative best left to the hacks. Because it’s really unrealistic to know the endpoint in life and chance always plays a bigger role in things than we like to admit. So why pretend there is a difference between the plot points in life and and fiction? Wouldn’t a narrative that behaves as randomly as life in its essence be more realistic?

While I don’t generally believe in dramatic, rash acts there is much to be said for radically redefining the perimeters of your choices. Moving across country to a more fertile environment. Starting a business and all that entails. Quiting a stable job to devote energy and passion to a different goal or endpoint. All radically change the perimeters of all the choices and opportunities you’ll have from that point forward. For better or worse. Those who are satisfied or lack imagination never radically change anything. So their choice structure remains the same. Forever. Which has always filled me with dread.

So I’ve always used and overactive imagination to create the metal model of radical change and all of the new choices that would result but that alone is not enough to create the choices. Almost but not in total. Acts must be present and combined to complete the radical choice structural change. I like that, Radical Choice Structural Change. I’m sure there’s a better acronym. Give me a little time to come up with something I can trademark. In the meantime, radicalize your choice structure and…jump. Before it’s too late.



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