Editors note: this post was originally featured in 2014, new blog posts on The C2C return September 11th, 2017.
Right now, before you, there is a blank page.
I know, the first thing you think of is the page before it: the one you wrote all over. The one with all the mistakes and the awkward moments. That last page isn’t as perfect as you would wish it. It’s got all these scraggily lines and missing parts and strange tangents.
The first thing you want to make with your new, blank page is something better in relation to that last page. But don’t do that. Because then the blank page you write today will be reacting to the page before it. And, remember, this is a new page. It’s meant to be new. It can’t be a reaction to what came before it, it has to stand on its own.
What To Write On That Blank Page
The second cold instinct is to write something on that blank page that will connect to the next one. You think that if that blank page doesn’t make sense in context, it’s better not to write it. So you get stuck on tomorrow and the page you plan on writing next and not the one you are writing now. It’s gotta make sense in context, you think, so, you focus on the next blank page, not on this blank page.
But, remember, this page must stand on its own. It has a right to, or else it will be enslaved to something that doesn’t even pertain to it.
This blank page needs a fresh mind. A fresh start. Look at it as you would look at a supernova. Collapsing and expanding. Falling and flying. Living and dying. All at once.
Everything and nothing.
This is what this blank page requires. It requires all of your attention. All of your focus. It needs you to listen. It needs you to be here, not on the “before” page or the “next” page.
Write your heart out here, on this blank page. Don’t hold back for the next page. Don’t worry about the bleeding out that occurred on the last page, the last time you poured your heart out, which you now regret.
You keep sharing your heart on this blank page. Because this blank page isn’t to blame for what happened on the last page, and it won’t be to blame for what happens on the next.
What Should I Do With My Time Here?
In the back of our minds, we are always wondering: what should I do with my time here?
This question informs everything we do: from the plans we have for tomorrow, to the regrets we carry from yesterday.
We wish, truly wish, to make the most of our time here. We don’t want to waste it. We don’t want to be wrong. We want to be right.
I’m not sure–and I can’t tell you–how best to spend your time here: the only thing I know that it is YOU that has the answer to that question. But I can tell you that whatever it is you wish to do, whatever it is you want to write on this blank page before you, you shouldn’t attach it to what you did yesterday, or what you plan on doing tomorrow.
You should always set your intention for today. At this moment. Right here, right now.
Wake up and set out to be the deepest fullest expression of yourself, no matter what was written down in your Prologue, or what they will write down in your Epilogue. Wake up and say what you want to say today, not so that what you say tomorrow makes sense, or so that what you say today will make up for all the wrong you said yesterday, but so that you can say, at The End of your story, that you always lived saying everything you could say for every second you had the chance to say it.
Don’t make today a reaction to your past–or a testament to your future.
Live life as it is now. Make of this blank page what you wish to be at this moment. Because every single moment is a blank page and, if you look closely, it has no trace of the page that came before it, or the one that will come after it.
This blank page is a supernova: its got everything you could ever need in it, and its blasting out everything you could ever say. Embrace the blast of light, and it will take you home, to wherever you need to be.