Tell Me A Story

I’ve tried at least 12 times to write a new post over the past weeks, but I start and get stuck. Prose-worthy thoughts pass through my mind in fleeting moments throughout the day, but when I sit down to write to you those thoughts continue to fleet like butterflies, and I can only catch them with glances – a wing here, a leg there – and so I close the computer for another day with nothing said to you. So here I am trying again, lucky try number 13. Let’s see if I get far enough for you to even read these first sentences.

I’ve been obsessed with this Humans of New York thing. Have you seen it? It will pop up in my Facebook feed during the day and I am captivated by the stories coming from people sharing the same streets as us (not that I’m in NY, but you know). I often wonder about peoples’ stories. We all walk around with ours draped over our shoulders or tugging at our feet. We have little encounters with so many people throughout the day but we aren’t often aware of at what point in their story we are crossing them. Yet we may judge them harshly or give them no heed at all when they may just need a break or someone to show them some small kindness. We may be meeting someone on the worst day of their life; could you imagine what holding the door open or buying that person a cup of coffee could mean to them?

Years and years ago, back in the decade of my twenties, Z and I were having a hard time. I remember telling him that these pains were just a part of our story, the tome that we would share between us and maybe tell no one but that we would own more than anything else in the world. And so we keep on in that vein. Work may be hard, parenting may be (IS) hard, being nice may be hard, but the accumulation of our decisions and actions fill the pages of our story. It feels good to own something so completely and know that I am in complete charge of it. Plus, I don’t even have to bathe or water it. Score!

I think of our story in the context of Connor and Ike and compare it to my parents when they were my age. First off, so strange to think of my parents being my age, of them struggling with child-rearing when they are such care-free candy-handing grandparents. But they were there. I have the story of them that I always carry with me, and here we are writing our own tale for Connor and Ike to put in their kid pockets along with rocks, dirt, and a few acorn caps. I like to pretend that I’ll always feel like I’m in my prime, because I’m feeling it now even with crummy work scenarios, low bank balances, or six hours of sleep. I vow to do my best to never let anyone take the pen away from me.

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