The Romance Spiral
The romance circle is common in all great epic stories. It starts out in childhood, then there is the threshold where the voyager leaves home for the first time, then the initiation, then the dedication to the quest, then the underworld, then the harrowing of Hell, then temptation, and lastly recognition. However, I don’t think the circle ends there. Life is a series of romance circles forming one large romance spiral.
Throughout life we are faced with many “voyages” or “adventures” creating one long spiraling journey. For example, college itself has been somewhat of a quest. You could analogize the process of applying to school, going to school, and graduating from school to Frodo’s own quest. Childhood instead would be high school and going to visit colleges would be leaving the threshold. Next, initiation would be acceptance to college and dedication to the quest is committing to a school. The next part I find rather comical where all of the classes and work throughout college are analogous to the underworld and the harrowing of Hell. Sometimes all of my work was a bit hellish. Temptation is all of the fun you have in college and your longing for the real world. Finally, recognition is equivalent to graduation where you gain recognition for all of your hard work.
Your life doesn’t end when you finish college (even though it feels like it). Therefore, instead of the circle ending there, rather it repeats itself and spirals into a long and great epic.