All good biography, as all good fiction, comes down to the study of original sin, of our inherent disposition to choose death when we ought to choose life.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.
Jason: Slow painful death by disease… or watching the love of your life die a slow painful death by disease?
Julie: A. Definitely A. Much worse to be without the person you love than to have a slow painful death. You?
Jason: Oh, B.
Julie: Really? You would rather watch the love of your life die slowly and painfully?
Jason: Well, it wouldn’t be awesome, but better them than me. Got a lot of good years left.
Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.
And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain.
John Clasky: If you think your life is at a crossroads: you are.
Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.
In your choices lies your talent.
Dr. Meredith Grey: Okay here it is. Your choice. It’ s simple. Her or me. And I’m sure she’ s really great. But Derek, I love you, in a really, really big – pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window – unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me.
Careers are not often as chosen as people think they are. People talk to me about my choices. I don’t make choices, hardly. Things happen, and you say yes or no – usually ‘yes’, because it’s always better to do something. What’s the choice? Somebody will say, ‘Don’t do that part, you don’t need to do that part.’ And I’ll say, ‘Why not? What am I going to do? Sit around the house?’ I’d much rather go to work, and see actors, and have fun.
Lorne Malvo: Let me tell you what’s gonna happen, Officer Grimly. I’m going to roll my window up, then I’m going to drive away, and you’re gonna go home to your daughter, and every few years, you’re gonna look at her face and know that you’re alive because you chose not to go down a certain road on a certain night. That you chose to walk into the light instead of into the darkness.