"...and you know what's most annoying? I thought about doing that ever since Jason's party. Arrgh! I'm so pissed off."
(At this point she clocked me ear-wigging, spun around and stomped off in the opposite direction).
Now, I don't know when Jason's party was, but something tells me it was a while ago. Pre-COVID.
Red bomber jacket girl, you snoozed on it. That idea wasn't meant for you.
But most of us have been there.
Getting all giddy about an idea.
Doing nothing about it for months. Years even.
Then, the moment we stumble across someone doing the thing we wanted to do, we get all bent out of shape.
I have a trail of stolen abandoned content ideas.
When I see so-and-so's written the same thing I wanted to write, I think to myself: why didn't I write that when I first thunk it. I can't do it now because I'll look like a copycat.
And it's annoying as heck when that happens.
But the only sane thing to do is handle the loss.
An idea, is just an idea. An unformed bundle of something that could be, but isn't yet.
Have you read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic?
She shares her idea to write an epic book - an Amazon jungle novel.
But then life got in the way. She lost her mojo. The book never happened.
Fast forward sometime later. Liz meets Ann, a fellow author, at an event.
Guess what Ann's latest project is? A jungle novel set in the Amazon... the plot's (almost) identical to the idea Liz had two years earlier.
Now Liz could have gotten annoyed.
She could have resented Ann for 'stealing' her idea.
She could have blamed or shamed herself for being too lazy to do the work.
But she didn't.
Liz accepted that she wasn't the one to bring that book into the world. Her friend Ann was.
We can't be mad at ourselves, or others, or the world for our lack of action. Ideas come, and ideas go.
But we can keep our eyes open for the next one.
Chances are that that next idea is for you.
You'll recognise it because it'll be the one you work on tirelessly.
And when that happens, say a little thank you to that old, abandoned idea. Because now you've got something bigger and better to bring to life.