The challenge of reconnecting to my story

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When I started this blog, I really believed that I would hit the ground running. I planned to post once or twice a week and cover a range of topics that I inspire me. I would find my inner joy and share it here, hopefully continuing to find inspiration in the act of blogging and maybe even providing some joy and inspiration to others. I quickly realized that whipping out a blog post was definitely not as easy as I had imagined (and hoped) it might be. Having said that, I discovered that I actually do enjoy the process of writing. I wasn’t sure if I would before I started. I sat down one afternoon and compiled a list of topics that could serve as food for thought and I even had the good fortune to inherit a laptop which would allow me to sneak into my studio where I might close my door and focus on writing with fewer interruptions from my youngsters. It seemed like a recipe for success…but after a few posts, I suddenly found that I was doubting myself. I thought my tone might be too academic, my interests might not be shared by others, humorous anecdotes about my family might somehow offend them, my photos might not provide enough visual interest, my efforts might just prove that I cannot really write and that blogging had proved to be a mistake. And so to stop the dark thoughts of doubt and fear, I stopped carving out time to sit down and write…and time passed and that was okay…until it wasn’t.

My memories of childhood are a jumble of playing outdoors with the neighboring kids, 4-H club meetings, playing games with family, and listening. I was always drawn by the conversations of adults around me, often boring to a young kid, but occasionally my patience was rewarded with getting to hear stories that they shared when the kids were elsewhere. Stories of family members, those living and gone, stories of adventures had in their youth, stories of winter storms that threatened prolonged isolation and by extension starvation, stories retold true or otherwise about the demise of those who lived in rougher times and etched out a harder life than the one I knew. I remember finding this all so very fascinating and exciting! A glimpse into another world, like a living book.

Now that I live in the city with my children, I find that I’m not nearly as connected to this tradition of telling stories as I once was. In December, I found myself sitting in a warm and crowded room in front of a fire with a glass of whiskey together my husband’s family. I sipped and listened to his father and uncles recall stories of men they knew in their (younger and) wilder years. After a pause in the storytelling, my father-in-law mentioned that I might share similar tales from my side of the pond. Surely I knew some, but at that moment, I panicked with something not unlike stage fright. How odd. I’d always loved to both listen and tell stories, but now that the opportunity presented itself, I froze. I couldn’t think of any stories to tell. I suddenly felt disconnected – from myself and my traditions. They, of course, took it all in stride and continued weaving their tales until the early hours, none the wiser to my disappointment that I couldn’t weave my own. That moment stuck with me. It made me realize that the art of telling a story is something that is important to me. It made me remember why I started to blog in the first place – to tell my story.

I am quite sure that before I had children, the speed at which my life passed was steadily increasing, but there is something about their presence that makes the days feel long and the months and years feel short. I do know that if I don’t stop and reflect on my life, it flows by like a stream, long days blurring a bit in the flow. Does this happen to you, too? Once an avid reader, at the end of the day, I now seem to lack the ability to concentrate on reading, but as a student of language and literature, I miss the words, the vernacular and the stories. I have been feeling the steady and increasing draw of words – to capture the story of a moment and, in its telling, to pause and to savor the moment, resisting the unrelenting flow of life just a little. I feel a renewed commitment to sharing my story here in the hope that it will resonate with others and connect us because isn’t it this connection that matters most after all?

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6 thoughts on “The challenge of reconnecting to my story

  1. its funny how i could relate to a topic in each paragraph,everyone has a story to tell and what better way to express it,yes i agree we should connect,i always dream’t of having a cohesion of writers like ourselves,being the voice of the ones who they view as the underdogs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy to read part of “your story” again! I have the privilege of knowing where your final inspiration was really coming from; “Little Field Birch”, it sound so simple and sweet, while to me, I know it is a deep and mystical journey. Maybe this had a moment, in a valley of darkness, but actually it is a tree and it has seasons. And as with the seasons of our lives, these seasons may not be three months long….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing – your words encourage me! I hope I can get back in touch with the sense of life (and my story) being a deep and mystical journey. It’s the path I keep choosing, straying from and choosing again. Thanks for walking the path with me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a big “YES”! I have wished to have the gift of gab, story telling, and ‘remembering’ stories that predate my existence and experiences. I sit quietly listening to other people weave their lives into words wishing I could find my voice. A huge part of my desire to go to Ireland is to hear the stories, learn how they are told, enjoy the truths and the fantastical pieces in each one… and hope the gift of story telling rubs off a little on me!

    Anyway, you should tell your stories. Maybe instead of offending your family and friends you will bring back something they didn’t remember and it will bring them joy!

    Liked by 1 person

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