In the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows lies the word Sonder. It is “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”
I will continue to struggle when it comes to finding a purpose in life. This is by no means a post to tell you that I have all the answers. That Christian has it all figured out. No. Not even in the slightest. But I have come to realize that life isn’t supposed to be so clear cut. Whether or not you believe in fate or destiny is up to you. I personally believe we write our own stories and the obstacles thrown at us is our opportunity to show what kind of character we are. Are you the moral high-ground hero? Or maybe you’re a mischievous schemer? Do you help others first or make them help you? Maybe you’re just an asshole? I wouldn’t go for the last one, but again, you write your story however you want to.
Sonder is a word that singlehandedly tells you how important you are and at the same time describes how worthless you can be. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but really it’s up to you which side of the word you want to hold more meaning. How does this tie in to 4381? Well… we are storytellers after all. If you’re not writing a film, you’re still writing yours. And depending on what you do in life, maybe someone will write it for you one day. Become a legend. What’s stopping you? Start showing that character.
With filmmaking, we have the opportunity to look at every aspect of the world and incorporate it into a story that we want to tell. Our characters are important, but so is the tree standing in the background. So is that extra sipping coffee. Like the world you’re living in, their world has just as many complexities and details. See it. Create it. I think that’s a beautiful thing. Take notice of the world you live in now. Understanding realism unlocks the potential to create so much more. Your worlds can practically create themselves if you start with a branching idea and let it lose into our world.
Your life is a story full of highs and lows. One day you’ll be sitting at the top and the next you’ll be at rock bottom. You’ll be driving in your car singing wildly to happy songs that remind you of fun days at the beach, and then switch the station to sad songs that’ll make you relive your first heartbreak… and then switch back to happy songs while wiping the tears from your face. Ups and downs are what makes your story interesting. They’re what makes every story interesting, and we have the opportunity to write every single one of them.