Same song second verse. A little bit louder & a little bit worse.

It was a cold day just a few weeks ago and right after my 50th birthday.  I’d worn a pair of tan pants, a brown sweater and scarf to the office.  It was a cold day, and warm clothes were key to comfort.  Sometime mid-morning I thought, “I don’t remember buying these pants.”  A little while later, I had a memory that the other tan pants I did remember having had a different waistband and were a little shorter.  I’d been a bit annoyed at their “high water” length but noticed the pair I had on this day were actually plenty long.

When I got home and changed into a pair of sweats, I threw these pants down the clothes chute.  A couple days later my husband Keith said, “I can’t find my new pair of tan pants anywhere!”

“WHAT?!  When did you buy new tan pants?” I asked, horrified at what Keith’s question likely meant.

“When I bought myself a new pair of jeans,” Keith told me,  not nearly as worked up as I was at that moment.

I told him to check the chute.  When he found the pants, he confirmed thIMG_4497ey were his, and then I came out with the story of how I’d worn these pants and racked my brain trying to remember when and where I bought them.  We laughed until we cried.

In my defense, Keith had hung his new pants on my side of the closet.  That made me feel a little better.  But only a little.  (A):  How could I wear my husband’s pants?  And (B):  How could I not realize it when I was getting dressed in the first place?

After that, Keith hung these signs on our closet’s center post:

I have a job in which I need to do a fair amount of public speaking.  When I write out a presentation, what drives me crazy is the very first sentence.  What will I say that paves the way for the rest of the message?

I’m a first-time blogger, but it wasn’t the first blog that was the hardest.  It was this second one.  I’d been thinking about that first blog for awhile, composing it in my head.  It felt like the story that needed to go first.

But what comes next?  It seemed right to let you know that sometimes I’m just plain weird.  And so is my life.

When we encounter people the second (or third or fourth times) how do we give them the chance to surprise us with the stories they tell?

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Hello world!

On August 14, 2009, my husband and I flew to Pittsburgh from DesMoines on Midwest Airlines.  It was the days before we did online check-in, and I saved the torn-off end of the boarding pass because of its “Notice” on the back which read:  “This portion of the ticket should be retained as evidence of your journey.”

I keep this as a page marker in a book I read daily.  It’s a book with dated entries like:

“January 1:  The New Year”

“January 2:  Healthy Limits”

“January 3:  Nurturing Self-Care”

This book very nearly jumped off the shelf at me a number of years ago when I was in a setting that threatened to eat me up slowly from the inside out.  The bookmark reminds me that I am on a journey and, for good or ill, I retain pieces of evidence from that journey.

Some evidence takes the form of tokens, like this ticket stub.  Other evidence is made up of memories and the various emotions that accompany them.  And some of the evidence I retain are stories–stories that I hope to share here.

I find that writing is a way to connect with myself, and writing publicly helps remind me that I’m not alone, that my stories aren’t for me only.  I realize no one may read these stories, and if they do, they may not care that they did.  But stories are meant to be shared.

Recently I heard someone say, “If you tell your story, it opens up a space for others to tell theirs.”

What’s your story?  What evidence do you have of your journey?