I know you must be wondering why would I start a sentence with the words dead end, does it even qualify as a sentence? Probably not, but following the rules to make my point is not what is important.
When you arrive at a dead end you must stop, as you cannot go any further. Well duh, you must be thinking, it doesn’t take Sherlock to solve that mystery.
…And yet, you present yourself as a dead end all the time. Meaning you refuse to make yourself vulnerable to others; they become stuck and cannot go any further into knowing who you are.
This may not apply to you but I am sure that you have or had dead end people in your life. People who are brick walls that you just can’t seem to penetrate no matter how hard you try.
Conversations begin and end abruptly. The sharing of personal information is avoided like the plague, eye contact, smiles and any form of outward affection is shunned. It is strictly business all the time, every time, a clockwork mentality.
Where is the passion? Where is the excitement? Where is the drive? Where is the emotion? Where is the risk taking? Where is the raw vulnerability?
Where is…? Dead end.
There is no further to go. So you simply stop trying to push forward, you may even stop caring.
If you’re the person exhibiting a dead end personality you feel triumphant, as you have abated the peeling away of your protective shell. But are you truly alive without the vulnerability?
You must be thinking…okay Ms. Literary Analyst what is your point, after all this is not a personal development blog, it is a literary blog.
I want you to think of this piece as personal development through the art of story.
Think of your favorite characters from books, movies and plays for a moment. Why did you favor them?
I can answer that for you, they had an awesome story. They unleashed who they were to the world and did not care, why? They had something they wanted to overcome and something they wanted to achieve…there were no obstacles too great.
When you are dead end you are too busy protecting who you are to really go for what you want…that requires vulnerability, openness, risk taking, and an unleashing of who you are to the masses…or simply to your family and friends.
Ever start to read a book and you could not get into the story no matter how hard you tried? Finally you abandon the book and find something else to read. The reason you abandoned the book was because you came across some dead end characters, producing a dead end story, producing a lack of interest in lifeless characters.
Do you see how the art of story can also inform your own personal development?
Authors and screenwriters alike spend countless time crafting the perfect story, plot, theme, concept etc. where characters have a passion and drive to achieve what they want and overcome all obstacles to do so.
The stories that make writers successful are the stories with characters that exhibit openness and vulnerability. A vulnerability that they recognize is necessary to overcome obstacles and achieve what they want.
What is the opposite of dead end? Well…the opposite of death is life and only you can define what is means to be alive.
I think we can both agree that putting up a wall between yourself and others may protect you from pain, risk, hurt, and being vulnerable. But it will also stop you from making the greatest achievements in your life and from people getting to know the awesome person that you are.
For the holidays, give the gift of yourself, your true, raw and vulnerable self, even for just a day. It may be the greatest gift you will ever give.