It’s the last Tuesday of the month and that means it’s time to join in with Juliann and talk about my one little word journey.
The other day I was in Target buying $113 worth of stuff I didn’t need . . . as one does . . . when I saw this journal. Normally this is something I would pass right over but this time I just couldn’t resist. It’s full of pages with prompts at the top to help you write your story. It asks questions like what role did books play in your childhood, describe your first job, describe a time when you played a mentor role in someone’s life, and so much more.
So far I’ve only filled out the timeline pages. It’s broken out in 5 year increments, ages 0-5, 6-10, 11-15 etc, and it’s been really interesting to me to see what I remember from each of those 5 years of my life. Some events really stand out like going to a different junior high school than all my friends or meeting Doreen for the first time. Some events are tragic like the death of my brother when I was 17. Lots of events are just routine, going to church, graduating from high school, getting my first job.
One of my first memories, from when I was around 2, is of my mom sleeping in the corner of my bedroom. I think it stuck out for me because it was unusual and when I asked her about it when I was in my teens she was shocked that I remembered but she confirmed that it had indeed happened; when she and my father were in the process of separating she shared my room for about a week. I think it bothered her when she realized that one of my first memories was of something sad and tragic. The funny thing is, though, it wasn’t sad and tragic to me. I can clearly remember waking up and seeing her asleep in the corner and feeling comforted and loved. I didn’t know she was there because she couldn’t bear to sleep in the same room with her husband as their marriage fell apart, I just knew she was there and I felt safe.
So. My story of this event is a happy one and hers is a sad one. I think the same came be said for so many of our stories. Sometimes we are heroes and sometimes we are villains, sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail, sometimes we are bathed in grace and glory and sometimes we’re in the muck and mire. The bottom line is that it all depends on how you frame it. Or even, as I’m coming to realize, how you own it.
We’ve got to own our stories because, in the end, it’s our stories that truly last.