A couple of days ago, I read about this project. It turned into a book that I can't wait to read. The premise of the project was asking people what their story is. The book is a compilation of people's stories, in their own words and writing. It's infected me. I think about it all the time now. If someone, today, were to randomly ask me "what's your story?", what would I say?
I know what I usually say, and I don't like it. One of the first things people learn about me is that I am a divorced single mom, followed shortly by my divorce story. Yuck. And why? Has my divorce defined me? Certainly not. Has it shaped me? Sure. It's molded who I didn't want to be any longer, and who I have become, but I am not my divorce. Honestly, this may be the single most important thing I have realized all year (good thing it's only May!). I am not my divorce.
Two days ago, I made a conscious decision to stop talking about it. Not pretend it didn't happen, but not offer it up as pertinent information, because really, who cares? I certainly don't.
So now I am left with the same question, "what's your story?", and I think about it alllllll the time now. What are the things that I am made up of? What are the things that someone would read and think to themselves "huh... I had no idea", or maybe even "I love that about her". This whole project has twisted my mind into thoughts, one after another, perspective to opinion, truth to heart. I have leaned upon so many answers...
I was born to amazing parents who taught me the value of unconditional love.
I have a sibling to whom I am a polar, absolute opposite, and it fascinates me that we came from the same parents.
I have made a lot of mistakes in my life - in relationships, in parenting, in friendship, in decisions, but I am grateful for every single lesson that formed me into who I am right now. I am grateful for learning the value of gratitude.
I am a truly good person, and I am blessed to have arrived at this destination despite some of my journey.
I could truly do this all day long. I have spent two days thinking about what I would want my story to read with no definitive direction. Then I thought, while I sat here writing (finally), why does it have to be just one story? Every single time I sit down and write, and sometimes, even when I don't, there's a story. And maybe yesterday's story isn't today's story. And maybe all of the stories make up our grande story. So I decided to go easy on this ever debating mind inside my walls, and take it one story at a time.
What's my story today?
Today I woke up writing a story about stories in my head, determined to write it down. I examined who I am and where I came from and analyzed all the parts that I thought were important, and ignored all the insignificant things, pushing back all of the things that I didn't want to tell the truth of my part in.
I struggled going to my job knowing I have very little purpose there, wasting time to ensure a specific monetary value to my paycheck, but knowing the Universe has put me here to push me to make bigger decisions and affording me an opportunity should I decide to see it. It's truly what gets me through my work days.
I will come home tonight, and my son will ask me how my day was, and I will appreciate that he truly cares how my day was, and he will never pacify me with sugar coated responses and meaningless head nods. He will truly listen to whatever I say, and hug me with such a force I think he might be trying to force me together, knowing how much I long to be "whole". And then, I will reciprocate the gesture in undivided attention.
Tonight is my daughter's send off from grade nine and middle school. I know I will fend off tears at seeing how grown up she is before her time while she stands in front of me, but shed them instead in a silent room, alone tonight. I will think about her in that dress, in those shoes, and that piece of hair that always falls in her face, and I will remember fuzzy sleepers and baby giggles. I will burst with pride and crush in pain of her being so independent and strong.
I will fall asleep alone tonight, counting days until I no longer have to fall asleep alone.
The rest of my life is just days away. That is today's story. It's a story of waiting, and watching what happens while I count down the days, remembering not to miss what's in front me while I am looking ahead.
I think every day, I may very well have the same thought - What's your story?
I just hope I have some more really good ones before the end of the book.