Monday, June 6, 2016
The Stories of Our Lives
I count it as miraculous that every day that we open our eyes we get to write, and rewrite, the story of our lives.
Having just celebrated a birthday, it’s not surprising that I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am and how I got here. And even more, about where I want to go.
Now it’s true that we don’t get to dictate the prologue or earliest chapters of our lives. But once past the beginnings, we do co-create on the table of contents…as life constantly requires that we add to, revise or delete these entries.
Chapter 4: Be an international singing sensation? That one (totally aspirational), was deleted decades ago. Chapter 6: Gift the world two amazing women. Check. Chapter 12: Sign up for the Amazing Race with my youngest, Karima? Hmmm…
There comes a time that each of us has to pick up the pen and begin to compose. And once we do this, we can no longer deny authorship. We have to own the reality that we get to create the characters in our life story. We choose to insert or delete the drama. We decide when to alter the environment and when compelled, to change direction.
While we don’t get to erase what’s already transpired in our life stories, we always get to write the next chapter. In fact, we keep the pen the whole time, until it’s dropped – or plied – out of our hands!
I’m acutely aware that others will not necessarily write my story the same way I will. It motivates me to be aware of what I do versus what others see. But even more it reinforces for me the necessity of writing my own.
I get sad when I see people - of all ages - slow down or stop their pens – or keystroke or swipes – prematurely. When they decide their story isn’t worth it. That they’re too tired. Too lazy. Too old. Too…
I’m just too curious to see where my pen’s gonna lead me next that I just don’t understand giving up.
But I get it. I’ve only got my story and my pen. And don’t you know I’m gonna keep on writing til I run out of ink.
Lesley Grady has spent 30 years working to develop and strengthen communities. In those years, her personal, professional and civic activities have allowed her to connect with diverse groups and perspectives to better understand how to create positive change and solutions to community needs.