I don't know. I honestly don't.
But this is how I hope it goes:
Things happen in our lives. Big things that are going to happen no matter what. Our lives are set out from the beginning, a bit like an outline for a story. So it'll look a bit like this:
2. First friendships
2. First love
2. Exploration of Self
3. Solidification of Identity
B. Middle Age
2. End of job
3. Re-identification process
C. Old Age
2. Re-solidification of Identity
3. Acceptance of what's gone and what is coming
Okay, like that, but with more indents. But do you see how none of the details are filled in? This is what we're given when we're born. These things that Have to and Will happen. Okay sometimes there are smaller sub-headings that have to happen underneath of the 1, 2, 3 sections, but it was already more detailed than I was originally planning, and obviously it's going to be different for everyone, because that's what makes us all unique.
We fill in the rest. We get to all the major plot points, but in the end, we make up the story. We are the main characters. We are the stars. Our only goal is to get through the book and finish it with a flourish and a sign-off.
Essentially, we're the characters AND the editors. We choose how we get to the plot points. This is what is called 'free will'. I believe almost every belief system in the world at this point believes that we get this (if I'm wrong, I'm sorry, please correct me). And again, sometimes it's a shorter book. Sometimes it's like it will never end. Some stages last longer than others, some go by in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, you skip over them entirely. It depends on your book, really. On your life. On who you are, as a person, and what you're going to become.
But this is the basic outline. It's supposed to happen, so it's going to.
And, personally, I like to believe that if we were good people, who lived good lives, and had good things in our hearts (and only we know if we do), we get to have something nice at the end. Like an epilogue that essentially says "And they lived happily, ever after," or some-such nonsense like that. Certainly if we don't do the good things, we do get punished, but I also believe our punishment happens on this earth, not in the next life.
Then again, who am I to say what does and doesn't happen after we die? I certainly don't know. You don't know either (unless of course you're dead, or the orchestrator behind all of this craziness. or if you're the author who created the outline, only those three know).
And that, honestly, is the exciting bit to all of this. We don't know what happens. We can think we know, we can certainly make plenty of guesses -- educated or otherwise -- but we don't KNOW. And that's thrilling, like being on a roller-coaster in the dark and you're climbing and climbing and you don't know when you're going to fall. And then suddenly, out of the darkness, into the blue (or out of the blue, into the darkness?) the floor drops from beneath you and you're falling and it's fantastic and wonderful.
Or maybe like reading an exciting book, to keep with the theme. You don't know how it ends. You don't know what will happen with the characters in the story, where they will go, who will die before the end, what's going to happen, are they going to fulfill the goal? What is the goal? You have to keep reading, you have to keep turning the page, chapter-to-chapter, word-by-word.
Because in the end, no one knows. That's the greatest mystery story of all. It's a story we read until we're dead, and then we get to figure it out.
I hope...this gave some of you hope, I hope this didn't rock anyone's world too much (or, if it did, it did so positively). I look forward to continuing my story with all of you, and I hope we all reach the end of our own at the right time.
Until Next Time, Dear Readers,