Once upon a time there was a girl named Rachel. She lived a simple life as the daughter of a bus driver and a secretary in a middle-class neighborhood. She had friends. She was relatively content.
One day, her fairy godmother showed up in a shower of sparks and gave her a great quest. “You are destined for great things, young Rachel,” said the fairy godmother.
“Wow, that’s really cool,” Rachel replied. “But it looks terribly hard. I don’t think I’m good enough to do it.”
“Oh, but I can help you!” said the fairy godmother.
“Um, no thanks,” Rachel said. And she went back to her math homework.
“Well, I can’t force you then,” said the fairy godmother, and disappeared.
Rachel went on to live an average, safe life in a middle-class neighborhood. She had a family. She was relatively content. She never lost the nagging feeling that she was supposed to do more with her life. She felt kind of bad for not doing it, and always wondered how her life might have been different if she had accepted the quest.
She died in a nursing home at the age of 93, in a puddle of her own urine, surrounded by other catatonic old people who couldn’t remember her name. It was kind of sad.