In my upcoming memoir “The Power of the Curve” – here’s what that phrase means:
Power of the Curve: The power of movement, of change. It’s the power to take what life brings you and make the most of it. It’s riding the wave. It’s knowing that things may not turn out the way you planned, but that you always have another option, another way.
Granted, you’ll have to read the whole book (June 20) to find out HOW I arrived at that definition! Much of it came from the connective tissue I found between my most challenging life situations, beginning with my nearly life-ending back surgery to correct extreme scoliosis curves at the age of 19.
It would be impossible not to see the parallels between The Power of the Curve and the events of 2020. The coronavirus curve has shaped our individual stories and our collective story together.
The initial curve was dark and unknown but for most of us it also felt very far away.
Then in what seemed like the blink of an eye, the distant curves in the road were suddenly in front of us all, no matter where we were in the world.
The curves then started coming faster and sharper. We barely had time to crank the wheel and veer around one on two wheels before the next one was upon us.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Something like this has happened before in my life.
I was in my 20’s and had gotten tangled up in a mess of dangerous curves in Hollywood while aspiring to be an actress, screenwriter, and anything else creative I could get a shot at being. Somewhere in the blur of creating myself, seeking fame, and surviving life at 100 mph, a nasty curve came out of nowhere and took the life of a close friend.
I learned that in situations like that, when you’re gripping the steering wheel for dear life, trying to catch your breath and slow your heartbeat to a gentler roar, everything inside you is telling you to pull over and camp out there, right in the middle of the curve. Just to make it stop.
It’s the Power of the Curve equivalent of climbing under the covers and tucking yourself into the fetal position. You don’t see how you can possibly drive forward another foot.
But you do. Because dangerous curves are no place to live.
The Power of the Curve is learning from the curves behind you but not letting the rear view mirror hold you back from the road ahead.
The curves on the road in front of us now are in the shape of question marks: When will life move out of neutral and back into drive? When will we feel safe again (on many levels)? When will it be acceptable to LIVE again?
It’s also seeing our own part in this shift. This is another lesson I’ve learned. You can look to others for guidance and advice, but ultimately, sucking it up, putting your foot on the gas, and pressing down, is 100% up to you. When it comes to taking your chances on the curves ahead, you’re in the driver’s seat – delegating to Uber is not an option.
Finally, the Power of the Curve is realizing that only a thin, yellow, dashed line separates certainty from uncertainty, and you’re the only one who can decide how you want to navigate it.