One of my favorite quotes from the Anne of Green Gables movies (I read the books ages ago, and don’t remember if this was there) is “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it, yet.” Because it has reminded me many times over the years that each day, each hour, each moment is a new start. It is ours to do with as we please. It is so easy to get bogged down by “have toos” and responsibilities, but ultimately it is our choice to abide by them or abolish them. We can agonize and project our current feelings unto the moments to come, but those projections don’t change the fact that the coming moments are new and fresh without mistakes.
I was asked why I killed off a certain character in ‘The Queen and Knights of Nor’. It was a question I wrestled with while writing. It was my own imaginary world after all. My creation. So why on earth would I kill off a perfectly likable character? Why would I put myself through the undignified process of crying (or at least tearing up) every time I read that part of the story? After all it is my choice to abide by or abolish any part of the story I like. But I was compelled to leave it in. There was no way around it. It was one of those pivotal points (as in life) where pain gashes the characters leaving them raw and open. None of them could have guessed that at that very moment the process towards healing begun. Olive, Micha, Dillip and the others had the choice to fret over the loss, or to honor the loss. They could have wallowed in the choices they made which led to an untimely, grievous death, calling them mistakes. Instead they chose to realize that a life worth living, and battles worth fighting cannot be won without loss.
Some losses may be small like missing out on a party to study, or having to choose this career field over another. Some losses are big, like the ending of a friendship, or the death of a loved one. But these are the risks we take, when we step into the next fresh, untainted moment. So I had to leave this death, so that I and my readers could remember that none of us know how our actions leading up to this moment will affect us, and those we love (or like, or don’t like, or hate). None of us can guess how things will change in an instant.
So I’m learning to accept each moment for the adventure that it is, and I’m writing this, so I can review it when I feel stuck in moments of mommyhood monotony, or when the grief of a devastating loss hits me out of the blue. It’s my choice to either bemoan my every thought, word, or action of my entire life which led me to this very instant, or I can chose to remember that soon this moment will be gone and it is up to me to decide how I approach the next. Much easier said then done, but tomorrow is always a new day. (Unless you are one of Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children.)