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2.9
October 12, 2023

One Day Your Story May Bore You.

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on Pexels.

Listen…

Take your journals down from your bookshelves or out of your drawers. Don’t forget the pink one you sleep with, or the tiny one you take to your work and secretly write in during meetings.

Take them into your arms and spread them across the floor, in all their irregular shapes and textures and colors, making a quilt of time and memory. See them as an array of your story, noting the one you filled completely from one night with that secret-heart person, or the one you wrote over Thanksgiving 2007 when you knew that would be the last one with your Mom.

Open the yellow one that’s just poetry you’ve copied– words that feed you from Mary Oliver–or the blue one with butterflies that has pictures of you and your smiling child, a boy, bathed in golden light you’ve never seen since.

Spread them out and let 1998, or 2005, or 2021 air out a bit. Open them up randomly. The ones from college, basking in laughter when learning guitar with your friends, or later, in your twenties, when you self-proclaim that you’re through with men and yet they still call, wanting your time and energy and sex and soul.

Read about driving south Georgia roads with your grandfather, hearing his stories of his youth for the millionth time, the ones before the Great Depression when he didn’t have a farm or a wife or a kid or bills. Thumb across the midnight notes of unsleep after your daughter’s birth, how you spent months driving her in the early morning hours to the Florida line and back, listening to music as she finally slept.

Feel joy in these remembrances…But then… notice words you use when describing your relationships. Ones that repeat through the years like Shame. Regret. Need. Greed.

And woeful phrases like “loneliness eats at me,” or “longing as my companion,”  or the most frequent one: “Why doesn’t so and so want me?”

Sit back and read more, realizing how this theme of hunger follows you through time, hunger for connection, acceptance, validation. Hunger for yourself, as you’ve grasped outside you for years, searching for a satisfying job, relationship, or “life status” that never seems to fill your cup.

Realize this is the same story, a story you’ve told yourself since you were little, the not-enough story, and how it blames others or external circumstances for your sadness or anger and inertia.

…And then…gasp!…Maybe your story has become…boring?  Because you’re no longer that girl in 1989 searching for herself in other people… or that woman in 2008 waiting on a marriage to make her complete and happy… or that professional in 2013 wanting recognition that never comes.

You realize the last thing you are is not-enough, shameful, OR boring, and that, unless you learn to think beyond these patterns of yourself and cultivate all that you’ve learned, you’ll keep writing the same tired story in a different colored journal that will sit on your shelf for years.

So what story are you writing? Take a close look through your journals and see old repeated patterns of shameful self-talk and stuck narrative.

See what changes in your life–and what doesn’t–and accept it all as yours, owning your narrative as now. It’s no one else’s to write, no one else’s to learn, and it has new words and phrases to say.

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