Work on Your Own Story

I woke up this morning with thoughts flowing, feeling inspired to sit down and write a blog post. I know. It’s been awhile. Anyway, I got out of bed, fed the dogs, took a shower, got dressed, and sat down at the computer. Up until the last action in that list, the ideas were running freely. They weren’t very organized, but they were there. And, I think some of them were really good. But as soon as I sat down at the computer. Poof. They were gone.

So I started typing something like the paragraph preceding this one, and Evernote ate it. I opened up Word and started typing in that.

And now I’m just mad.

I had thoughts. Good thoughts. Passionate thoughts. Inspiring thoughts.

No thoughts.

I’ll just start typing. That will get them flowing again, right? Nope.

What on earth does that mean?

Maybe the thoughts that were racing when I woke up were meant to inspire me to do something but they weren’t the ones I was supposed to share.

As much as I don’t like that answer, there might be something to it.

I’ve had a lot of things going on lately. My schedule has been pretty full with a variety of events and everyday life stuff.

The people I love have had a lot of things going on lately, too. Dear friends have had tragic, life-changing events drop out of the blue. At our small company, our employees have lost 4 close family members in only two weeks, one of those being Mike’s aunt. A couple friends have learned of terminal cancer diagnoses for a mom and for a husband. There are other big, hard things going on and a couple big traumaversaries this time of year, for me, for my family, and for our country. Yesterday I learned of the tragic death of someone who was only an acquaintance to me but very close to many of my friends.

I want to stand up and shout from the rooftops for everyone to pay attention to the people around them. Don’t pray for them. Sit with them. Don’t talk about them. Listen to them. Don’t feel bad for them. Understand them. Love them. Hold them. Be with them.

I did actually post something similar to that on Facebook yesterday. A lot of people liked it, and a couple people shared it. A few commented on it. A few people messaged me about it. I think a lot of people got my point. And I felt like a couple people completely misinterpreted it in ways that feel pretty significant to me. Honestly, I’m a little angry about that. That’s not true. I’m a lot angry about that.

I woke up thinking of ways I could restate my case. To help people understand what they missed in what I was trying to say. I am angry that I took the courage to speak up, use my voice, and tell my story. And I’m angry because I feel like people are trying to rewrite it for me. I’m angry because I feel like people are trying to co-opt my story instead of telling their own.

Wait. That’s actually the second time I’ve said that this week. My therapist and I talked about it a couple days ago relating to another situation. When I said to him, “They need to work through their own stories instead of stealing someone else’s!” he asked me if I was doing that myself. I adamantly affirmed that I am. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I have an entire journal of working through my own story. I’m reading Brené Brown’s Rising Strong, and I’m in the rumbling stage. Of course, I’m working on my story!

Except maybe I’m still trying to avoid parts of my story. Because the visceral reaction I had to people seeming to misunderstand what I was trying to say probably means I still have some internal wrestling to do.

And waking up ready to rant to the world and then completely losing my thoughts might be a signal that I need to do that before I co-opt someone else’s story.

Maybe you need to do that, too. If you get really angry about something today, get curious. Ask yourself why. What in your own life are you trying to avoid?

Maybe we could work on it together.

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