It is hard to believe that we are already coming up on the halfway point of February, and we all know what that means – Valentine’s Day. While it is a celebration of love, it is also an excuse to eat lots of chocolate. You have my permission to indulge to your heart’s content so that I can feel better about myself for doing the same thing.
While dreaming about my chocolate binge, I have also been thinking, because eating chocolate and thinking are my special talents. Sometimes, I wish I could turn my brain off because thinking is exhausting, you know? But that is a story for another day.
Right now I want to share the story of my recent thoughts – a tiny peek into my brain, if you will. I know; this is the chance of a lifetime, so keep reading.
I was scouring my closet for something the other day; I can’t even remember what because thinking and remembering are not the same and I might struggle with the latter a tiny bit. Low and behold, I came across this stack of letters, and I was taken back a few years; 22, to be exact.
If you read my most recent blog post, you know that my husband and I started dating when I was 16 years old. He was a college boy at 17, and I was a tad smitten.
(We look like babies, right? Plus, the photographer must have thought that I would make a great opera singer. Maybe I should give that a try…)
We only dated for about four months before he went back home, which was a few hours north of where I lived. There were no email or cell phones back then because we grew up in the Dark Ages, so we wrote actual letters between the expensive long distance phone calls where we had to fight our siblings off with all manner of forceful words for the use of the phone. (Can you relate?)
A few months after he went home, he left on a two-year church mission, which meant that letters were our only form of communication. We wrote to each other almost weekly for two years, which is how and when our love blossomed. (We never even kissed before he left, but that, once again, is a story for another day.)
We still have all of our letters, and they are priceless. They read like a journal, but they are mostly the record of a love story in the making.
I am so grateful that I grew up in the days before digital communication because email cannot replace a handwritten letter, no matter how fast it arrives. There is something about the handwriting and the little doodles and pictures that I drew on the sides of so many of the letters that gives so much insight into my youthful personality.
But I digress…
Reading some of those letters the other day made me realize something: I love a good story, even if it is mine. I love writing my story so I can go back and read it later.
But I also love reading other people’s stories. It feels like an honor to be invited into their lives so that I can discover what makes them who they are. I love reading about their experiences so that I might learn from them and apply them to my life in the way that I see fit. Ideas seem so much more applicable when I understand the person behind them.
And you know, friends, I miss the days when blogging was like that. Now it feels more like a business, probably because it IS a source of income for many aspiring writers. There is a place for that (and I adore some blogs that fall into that category), but I feel like the stories often get lost in the lists, how to’s and Pinterest-worthy graphics.
And I miss them. Am I alone in that?
So I’ve been thinking (drumroll, please)…
You know that I’m all about being real, and I do try to give an honest depiction of my life on the blog. But I have been caught up in trying to blog “correctly” (whatever that means) so that I can attract the ideal followers and grow my little tribe. In the process, I have neglected to tell much of the story that has made me who I am today.
(Because who wants to hear that, and what if they don’t like me?!? And nobody will want to share my story, so how will I get people to come and read it?)
Well, friends, that is going to change. My blog is about finding joy and purpose amidst the chaos of modern family life and that sounds to me like a collection of stories that need telling. So I am going to start telling them.
It might be a bit of a balancing act – telling my story while respecting the privacy of my growing children who may not want their stories told. But I’m going to do my best because I believe that stories can often be the best teachers. Plus, I am quite adept at finding life lessons in everyday experiences. It is one of my superpowers.
And please don’t worry, because there will still be plenty of content like you are used to seeing here. It will just be combined with a little more storytelling.
So let’s toast our water glasses to a good story (because I don’t drink alcohol, friends), even if it is not Pinterest worthy. I hope you will keep coming back to read.
Have a beautiful day! (It’s supposed to be 80 degrees here in Phoenix today, but I will refrain from bragging.)