I’m reminded yet again that we all see the world differently and react to events based upon our own frame of reference.
Yesterday was the funeral for my grandpa. (Sad to lose him, but glad that it didn’t take months and months after he decided he wanted to die.) And, not being able to turn off that writer’s brain of mine, I was fascinated to watch how different people handled it.
When I think of my grandpa I tend to think of his role as part of my family and I forget that he was remarried for close to thirty years and so was very much a part of his second wife’s family as well.
I was initially surprised to see one of his great-granddaughters on that side of the family crying her eyes out over my grandpa. But then I realized that this might be the first family member she had ever lost. And that for her he’d always been part of her life.
It reminded me that I need to sometimes step back and consciously expand my perspective.
Today I received beta comments back on one of my stories and it reminded me that we all perceive love very differently as well. This is the second story I’ve written where a character felt such a strong love for their partner that they would feel lost or empty without them.
Both times this particular beta has disliked the main character in the story.
To some that kind of love is a weakness. Or not real.
To others it’s a strength to be able to admit that there is someone else in this world that you care about so much that you’d be bereft without them.
Personally, I’ve never experienced that kind of love on a romantic level, but I’ve witnessed it. I’ve seen it destroy a man when his wife died. And I’ve seen it bring a man through tests and trials that no one should want to survive.
The independent, “I will not be brought down by anything” side of my personality looks down on people who want that type of love or feel that type of love. But the empathetic, “wouldn’t it be nice to be the type of person who jumps off a cliff to see if they can fly” side understands it.
And that reaction just reminds me that not every story will connect with every reader. But it’s important for me to stay true to the world I know and to write that world even if it’s a world others may not like or agree with.