As the vibrant purple curtains of the Main Stage close, I reflect on how the 10th anniversary theme “The Story of Me” has influenced how I think of my own story.
The story of me is a compilation of my individual experiences.
The Story of Me
My story is fully, completely, and uniquely my own, yet filled with other people.
Family that encouraged me, teased me, criticized me, and prayed for me. Wiped tears, shared joy, applied that horrible, unnatural pinky-orange mercurochrome to open wounds, then blew hard to take the sting away. Danced and sang at my wedding and invited me to do the same at theirs and their children’s.
Many of those family members do not share my DNA.
The story of me stretches back before my birth. It’s grounded in the dreams of my parents and grandparents.
Teacher and role models who inspired and pushed me populate the early chapters. They continue to enter my life filling needs I didn’t even realize I had.
Of course, my story’s pages are dog-eared. Not a pristine piece of literature, it’s a reflection of me. Sometimes messy (okay, a lot of time messy), jumping from topic to topic. Often funny. At times moving, heart-breaking, and uplifting.
My story has unexpected plot twists.
It’s full of revisions.
The story of me won’t have a nice, tidy epilogue, all tentacles of plot and subtext resolved. It will continue long after the beats of my heart fall silent. It will live in the love embedded in my children’s hearts and visions I helped them engrave on their souls.
But not only that.
I like to believe that my nano-presence in the grand span of human existence will leave imprint of sorts, though not through any fame or infamy. Testaments to the things I taught, compassion I’ve shown, my witness to history, and, when I’ve summoned enough courage, times I’ve chosen to do what’s right.
The Story of You Matters
Headline graphic underlying image: the awesome and generous Maegan Kasteler, © 2020
Other images ©Laura Hedgecock