Your Story Part 1
Jess Shut Up
It starts with a question. That question can be difficult for some to answer, or for others it can release the flood gates of time and you end up knowing everything about them. A simple question, “What’s your story?” can require a person to dig deep within themselves and uncover things seldom thought about, much less talked about. For others, they spew the information out like they are counting grains of sands in the desert, a task that goes on and on.
So why am I bringing this up? I was recently challenged to tell my story. I was met with a problem in my mind: Do I start from the beginning, or do I just hit the points I think they might be interested in? Do I start from birth and hit every startling and sometimes unimportant detail, or do I skim the top for the cream of my life so far?
Then it hit me. What is really important for me to say? What is most impactful to not only me but to others, as well? Can I get the genre of my life expressed in just three or four points and conclude with a summary statement? Can I get it in one column? The answer was obviously no, considering the “Part 1,” in the title. So here is my story, but to tell you the truth I am more interested in yours. But that will come later.
The story itself is not all that important or noteworthy. The important part is the changes that come from the events. I think that will be similar for everyone. Of course, there are the big events that can cause a dramatic change of course in life. Deaths, births, loss of jobs, marriages, disasters, schooling and sicknesses can all have abrupt stops or turns on our river of life. We also have troublesome times navigating the water due to many things. But once again I am putting off the telling of the tale and should get to it. Can I tell my story in an opening, three main points and a summary and have it be impactful to the listener? For most I have lost already, but here goes.
I was born in Tonasket, Washington in the winter of 1973. That is about all I know about the day; soon after that we moved to Electric City, near my grandparents. I have lived in the area my whole life, so far. I have tried to leave on a few occasions but I am still here. Life was normal until I was 10 and my parents separated; it was during the holiday season.
Then the moving began, a moving that never saw me leave the small community that we live in. I did get married, (I’m still in love with her) and two kids came with the marriage. I fulfilled a dream as a firefighter/medic, and found my calling working with kids. But none of those are the key points in my story.
The first main point: Not long after graduation, I moved out. With no job, no plan, I just moved out from home for selfish reasons. I moved into a friend’s studio apartment and slept on his couch. My life was spiraling to a dark place, and it felt like I was never going to make it into my 30s. I met a man. At the time I thought it was just lucky that he was looking for someone to help him with some construction jobs; I was to start the next day. That night, my roommate came home ready to party and that is exactly what he did, regardless of my objections. So when he left on a supplies run. I packed my stuff and walked out the door. I had nowhere to go, I had no plan. I just wanted a place to sleep, and then I remembered a man I had met a few days earlier; he had told me that if I ever needed anything, to just ask. I was about to see if he meant it. I walked to his trailer and knocked on the door. He answered; obviously I had awakened him up. But he invited me in, and my life changed forever.
I will finish my story next week.