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The Universe Loves Putting Me Through Hell

July 28, 2023

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A messy girl in her 20s whose life is falling apart makes for a wonderful dramedy (drama/comedy), but in the real world makes for a horrible life.

I took a screenwriting class this week and the instructor said something along the line of:

“We love our main characters, but we want to put them through hell. If we didn’t it wouldn’t make a good story and they probably wouldn’t change.”

I have never been so sure I’m the main character.

One of the most crucial elements of a scene in a film is conflict. Every single scene needs some kind of conflict or tension. The tension the universe has been putting into my life lately is absolutely comical. If I didn’t assume I was the main character of some great story, I might look at my life and cry. Knowing this is all for the plot really helps me laugh. We have a real page turner here folks.

Over the past 10 months every single business idea I’ve had has failed, my funds are dwindling, and I’m losing my mind. I’m lowkey worried my hope might follow.

I applied for a grant to help one of my projects get off the ground. That was a moment where I knew this was some main character shit I’m living. I can picture it now, flipping through some book and you’re so excited because your main character has finally found passion for something again. Not only have they found passion, but they found an easy way to access the money they need to make their dream come true. 

You’re flipping through the pages so excited to get to the happy ending where they get the $10,000 they need to launch their dream project and then, what? Wait, what’s that? They didn’t get the funding! Someone with the same exact business idea got the funding!!! How could the author do this to us???

Seriously, how could the universe do this to me?? 

Luckily I’m very aware I am the main character of this story. When my best friend and I found out a company with the same mission and business model got the grant we wanted, we laughed out loud. Humor is the only path forward at this point.

The conflict and tension has continued to build and sometimes I really wish I knew where this movie was heading. I can only assume it has a happy ending. God forbid I’m in one of those indie films that has a horribly realistic ending where everything does NOT turn out okay. I’d cry.

Nope, only happy endings for me please.

I can take the clients stiffing me on payments because they are broke.

I can take that comically leading to ME becoming broke and somehow unable to make my own credit card payments.

I can take my bank account dwindling down to teeny tiny numbers I haven’t seen since I was a struggling college student. (I think I actually have less than when I was in college, my god.)

But for the love of all things holy, let it be for the plot.

I refuse for all of this chaos to be meaningless.

My screenwriting instructor said we put our main characters through hell so they change. Apparently, it’s on me to make whatever change the universe is begging of me.

The conflict and tension is going to continue to rise until I decide to do something different. If I could just figure out what that different thing was… 

Funny enough, the audience that is watching, or not watching, the story of my life probably knows the exact change I need to make to get to my happy ending.

Me? I’m still clueless. A main character stuck in Act 2 desperately waiting to get to Act 3.

After I figure it out, whatever the change is I’ve apparently yet to make, it’ll probably be incredibly obvious. Isn’t that the worst part?

Actually, no. I think the worst part is I’ve already made SO MANY CHANGES.

I’m the main character who burnt her whole life and business to the ground for the plot.

I destroyed all my old beliefs and ways of thinking to find my authenticity.

I did things my own way and refused to settle for doing things I hate in exchange for a dollar.

I thought I made all the changes there were to make, but my god there’s apparently more.

I’m not in a movie. I’m in a 20 season TV show and they are dragging this story out.

Oh well, people love messy. People love the “will they, won’t they”. Will she survive or will it all fall apart? Will she stay committed to doing things her own way or will her finances get so bad she has to settle and get a 9-5?

Don’t get me wrong, the drama is good. This is the EXACT kind of show I would binge in a single weekend. 

All I’m saying is that living it is very stressful. It’s taking much longer than a weekend to feel relief and I’m kind of over it. 

To the writer of my story, I know you probably love me, but I’m over being put through hell. 

To the viewer, all I can say is you’re welcome.


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Hi, I'm Ashley!

Certified Life and Business Coach and
Co-Founder of Living Adventures Retreats


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You valuing my stories and thoughts is enough. Enough for me to keep writing as long as the universe keeps providing me with the resources to do so. If you’ve valued my writing and my stories enough to donate, that’s just mother effing icing on the cake! Want to show your appreciation? 

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