Tuesday 23 January 2018

Truth is, in virtually any moment we can feel happy or successful if we focus on the positives

Sophie White: change the way you tell your life story.
Sophie White: change the way you tell your life story.

Sophie White

When this series was first proposed I thought that here at last was an excuse to do something that I'd always been curious about, stand-up comedy. I have spent the month performing with varying degrees of success. Did they laugh? Yes. Did they always laugh? No. Was it scary? Yes. Will I keep doing it? F**k yeah. Now that the series has ended, all I can think is, why? Why did I need an excuse for that? Why did I need to justify just trying something out?

I read this week about how we tell our life story. Is our life story a tale of adversity? Success? Failure? The truth is most of us are genre-straddlers and what's more important than facts is the mood and the tenor of the story. Macbeth can be played as comedy or thriller or tragedy, depending on how the story is told.

Last week I wrote how my default mode has always been to focus on my failings. When I think of my life story, I tend to view the entire adult chapter as one long tangent, a detour that I'll presumably claw my way back from at some point and figure out what it is that I'm supposed to be doing.

My mother, wise-ish woman that she is, says that my problem is - sidenote: a lot of her sentences begin with "Do you know what your problem is?" To which I respond: "No, but I'm sensing you're about to tell me." - that I am looking at success and happiness as actually attainable things. And I get it, this is all wrong. They are fleeting moments in time, not something that can be held and hoarded for life. Ergo being on a quest for something that arguably doesn't exist is going to be a miserable, frustrating experience.

Now this may sound slightly motivational-speakery, but this month I realised that in virtually any moment we can feel happy or successful if we choose to focus on the positives. I also realised that I need to take more chances, every chance I get. Because the life-tangent is going nowhere, beyond the here-and-now that is.

TIP: Change does not have to be leaping in front of a live audience. How about we all start by changing the way we tell our life story?

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