For 34 years I thought my story belonged to other people.
I thought my story was my parent’s divorce. I thought my story was the houses we lived in and the houses we didn't. I thought my story was the cool air of indifference I tried so desperately to maintain. I thought my story was all about fitting in and looking right while being hopelessly uncomfortable in my Me-ness.
I didn't know what Me-ness was.
I still don't really know.
But I'm getting flashed by it, like a twenty-something trying to score beads at Mardi Gras.
My Me is lifting up the corner of her shirt, asking if I want to catch a glimpse.
She's seducing me.
I am seducing myself.
The allure of getting drawn in to other people's stories is understandable; we flow seamlessly and easily into other people’s stories, into the roles they want us to play, because it's a wonderful distraction from the hard work of going within.
If we do what they want us to do, we can get mad at them for 'making' us miserable.
If we lay down, and self-define ourselves by others implanted definitions of us, we get to moan about how we have 'no control' over who and how we are.
If we follow the path everyone has told us is the right one, and find ourselves miserable on it, we think that we are the crazy ones.
Our Me-Ness is not right.
But the idea of writing our own stories is daunting. How will it sound? What if no one reads it?
A writer friend of mine wrote a piece this morning called I Am Sick Of My Story.
The title spooked me
Because I'm tired of my story too.
But mostly? I'm tired of my story because my story, until now, hasn't been mine.
It's been me as daughter, me as student, me as awkward, me as friend. It's been confused me, rebellious me, terrified me, then gone.
The most recent chapter has been the story of wife and mother and home. Of drowning in love and somehow drowning in the sorrow of personal absence. This has been the chapter that appeared to be written by me, but was actually written for me by the way things are.
And the way things are ran out.
I'm not here to fulfill your desire.
I'm not here to make your sandwich.
I'm not here to approve or not.
And I'm not here to listen to the same nonsense in sterio.
I'm not here to beg.
I'm not here to gloat.
And I'm not here to look at you and your You-ness and then look back at me and my Me-ness and find all the ways in which our Us-ness is or isn't the same.
My story is one that wants to be written.
The first words are sitting in my middle.
They're timid and they're choppy and they're scared of the editor.
But they're there. Just sitting there, waiting - waiting to be joined with other words that will turn them into sentences and then pages of a story never heard.
A story written by what is real and unimagined.
A story written by the cosmos before my cells ever came to be.
A story just like yours and yours and yours.
A story written by and for and with the kind of love that makes you vomit with its sweetness.
This story couldn't have begun a moment sooner.
I needed to take a step back, out of the arena, away from the bull.
I looked in his eyes and I saw red, too, and then I said, “This isn't my story.”