Sunday, December 28, 2008

the stories we tell ourselves..

Online friend Buddha Mama wrote not long ago about how we create myths about ourselves... made up of our lowest and most painful experiences, and present them to the world in search of sympathy and support, or admiration for having "made it through"... She wrote about how by letting go of the anger and hurt, we can let go of the story... and by letting go we can change our focus, we can look for the positive in our lives, and we can write ourselves into new stories, happier stories...

I immediately began to think about the story I have been telling about myself (on another blog that I no longer use).

Over the last thirteen months I have written about the unexpected illness and rapid death of my brother, and the drawn out illness of my (now) mother in law. I wrote about my engagement and then the early months of a pregnancy. I shared my story infrequently through the 9 months I was separated from my fiancé whilst waiting on my visa application. I wrote even less frequently after losing my baby, and a debilitating depression. I kept my story to myself through the near collapse of my relationship with my fiancé, his diagnosis with post traumatic stress disorder, and months of long distance work we put in to repair the damage that caused.

It is true, these are all parts of the myth I have created about myself. And I have shared those parts of my story online because the burden is somehow lessened when shared, even with anonymous readers (real or imagined).

But when I think about the story I tell myself about my life, it is the highlights that stick out for me... the moments of laughter and pleasure and love. Perhaps I am more stingy with them... I hoard them, hold them to my chest.... And when they make it onto the page, it is because I feel so full that I cannot contain them. I could burst from their intensity, as small or insignificant as they may seem to the observer.

They are the stories of my family and my friends. The stories of the people and places I experience... the little girls shaking their pink pom poms as they cheer on the runners, the old man riding his bicycle through the swirling snow, the sunlight catching on dust motes in the silent woods, the smell of the jacaranda trees after the rain... the hatching of robin eggs, and the holding of small hands...

So perhaps the sad stories are just the stories I tell you... and not the stories I tell myself. I tell myself that the stories of my life are fundamentally good ones, happy ones... touched with tragedy at times, but not consumed by it. I tell myself that I am lucky, that my life is good, that my future holds wonderful things... And I believe it.

And so I share with you now some of the highlights of my year.... those wonderful little moments that make up the story I tell myself.

~ a day at the beach with my nephew and my fiance...

~ my wedding day...

1 comment:

  1. oh Megan, you got married... even adrift in America... I cannot tell you how your writings are just so touching, and that you share them ... I do the same as well... just in e-mails-- sometimes w people I don't know, but sort of trust. Keep up your great writing... you capture what a lot of us cannot articulate quite so beautifully, and YOU GOT MARRIED, that's great!! and look at you, "lost in America" w your nephew... what you send out, comes back to you in many ways... thank you for your inspiration.. one day I will give you my e-mail address... thank you so much..