As I have taken my first, cautious steps into the new year, I have been reading a lot of Donald Miller. He’s really good to read when starting a new year because he is all about living a better story. I have been thinking a lot about stories, and I have resolved to live a better one this year.
But part of living a better story, I think, is telling a better story.
I was home on break for most of December, and I think it was the longest amount of time I’ve spent there in perhaps a year. With that came running into and interacting with some people I hadn’t really seen since high school. One night, while reflecting on these interactions, I had a horrible realization – I was still judging a lot of these people based on things they did in middle school. That worried me.
It worried me because it seemed childish. It is childish.
At some point, I need to let go of that story. I need to let go of my junior high story, of my peers’ junior high stories. It’s boring.
My friend recently got rid of all of her young adult fiction. Not the good stuff, like Catcher in the Rye or anything like that. The faux-dark, teenage-angst stuff. She sent me a picture of all of the books boxed up. She was making room for new literature.
I think I don’t do that enough with my life. I hold on to all of the silly young adult theatrics, and because of that, I can’t live a better story. So this year, I’m going to recognize that while my first 21 years have been freakin’ awesome, they are perhaps little more than the first chapter of my life story. And that’s a pretty cool place to be.
Everyone has a story. I have a story. You have a story. Your ex has a story. Your best friend has a story. Your professor has a story. Your parents have stories.
It is really important that every story gets told. Stories keep us human. That’s why we cry at movies and chuckle at books. Stories keep us human.
Everyone has a different way to tell her story. Some use music. Some use writing. Some use speaking. Some use art. Some use technology.
It is really important that every story gets told. This year, figure out how to tell your story.
I cleaned my apartment today. It’s something that’s been hanging over my head for some time. My life feels much more manageable now. It feels like I can actually get things done.
As I have procrastinated cleaning my apartment over the past couple of days, I have spent a lot of time watching television and movies. Television and movies are cool, I guess, but the more I watch them, the more I think that I use them as a crutch. I feel like I watch TV because I am too afraid to go out and live my own life.
It used to be cool to spend a lot of time in fictions. I got to experience things I couldn’t. When I was a kid, this was huge. I didn’t have the means to go visit a city by myself when I was a kid, and so reading stories about cities or watching films set in cities was really cool. But in a little over a month, I’m going to be 21. As far as the law is concerned, I will be an adult. But I’m still stuck in this notion that fictions are my gateway to experiencing life.
I know this seems a little crazy but I think life is my gateway to experiencing life.
I don’t think it’s as simple as walking out of my apartment every once in a while. That’s not going to fix anything. I think I’m afraid that I’m going to make a wrong decision, that I’m going to say something I don’t mean, write down words that don’t make sense.
But this is where television and life have a really convenient similarity: you are always allowed to change the channel.