It’s trite to say that life is what happens while we’re making other plans. As you are now aware, I never planned to act out Mr. Holland’s Opus. The thing is, it worked for me. Life unfolded, and I grew in ways that I needed to grow but didn’t realize.
Freshly discharged from the army, I searched for “ultimate truth.” I looked outside of myself for the meaning of life. Now I look inside myself. Life is just what it is; it’s how we deal with life that is the meaning of life for each of us. So now, I conceptualize life as a book with blank pages. It begins empty and has no meaning yet, but it has potential. Then our life plays out, and we fill our book as we choose, and it’s our book, and it matters to us, and that’s enough, even if it matters to nobody else. There is no meaning to life other than what each individual brings to his or her own existence, which means we determine our life’s meaning for ourselves. Will our books be filled with self-distortions and fear of each other, or will they be filled with authenticity, love, passion, and adventure? Will we allow others to tell us what our lives mean? Will we write a fictional story of our lives and keep people from knowing us; or will we live authentically, bring others into our personal life’s story, and fill our book of life with emotional intimacy and love?