So this post has been marinating inside me for a while, and I think it’s finally ready to be written.
Whereas Week 1 looked at the moment of crossing the threshold into the new year, new desires, and new dreams, and Week 2 talked about connecting to your roots so as to be very grounded in this yearlong journey, Week 3 is all about our personal stories in general, and then what author Sarah Blackthorne refers to as our “core stories” in particular.
Now this week’s topic has been kind of tricky for me, because for as long as I can remember I have identified as being a story teller-even when I had no idea that’s what I was, and before I could ever even articulate that kind of thought. Because, stories? YES PLEASE! Consuming them, telling them, dreaming them up-that is the stuff, the substance, the structure that makes up my life. So how can I possible identify with just one? Can’t be done.
Plus, for as long as I can remember I have viewed myself and my life with this weird kind of parallel double vision. I’m in my life, living it. But I’m also a little bit separated from it, viewing and watching and describing my life internally as the heroine of a story that is constantly being played out/written in front of an audience. I am always narrating everything that happens in and around me, sometimes in my mind, and sometimes out loud (So in case you ever pass me in the grocery store and why the hell I’m babbling to no one, this is why).
It’s so weird, but from the very first time I wrote an entry in my very first diary, I have written “to” some sort of audience. As I’m writing, I’m also seeing and hearing an audience receiving this words. So it’s never just me and the writing; it’s me, and the writing, and this invisible, yet extremely real presence of other people who are interacting with my words. It’s weird. And kind of hard to explain.
Part of it is probably because I’ve been performing in front of people in some kind of way since I was very little. And now, thanks to a recent diagnosis, I know that part of it is due to the fact that I suffer from a type of dissociative disorder, the other defining symptom of which is, “Identity disturbance, such as a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self”, with some pretty severe mood cycling.
So I have the part of me that is constantly creating new stories (both pleasant and enjoyable, as well as dire and tragic) and not only can‘t identify with just one, but who would die of boredom with only one story to play with. But then I also have a bunch of weird brain wiring that constantly, desperately compels me to find One Story, One Answer, One Permanent Thing that I can cling to and say, “THIS IS WHO I AM!”
Yeah. So that‘s a lot of fun.
I wish I could tell you that I’d had some kind of miraculous breakthrough and found the solution to this constant push-and-pull, but the best I can do right now is just to notice:”Oh, look. I’m trying to ‘all-or-nothing’ myself again. And I know that doesn’t work. So I’m going to shift my focus over to something that feels good.”
However, despite my constantly (and exhaustingly) ever-shifting internal sands, I can say that there are lots of consistent threads that have weaved throughout whatever my particular story was at any given moment.
Passionate pursuit of God.
Constant seeking of new information and new experiences.
Holder of Opposites.
Wicked sharp sense of humor.
Lover of Life.
So I may not have One Tidy Answer (which I probably wouldn’t even want if I actually had it). But I have found a pretty amazing place to land.
And the fact that I can always, eventually, find these soft places for myself to land? Well, I’m happy to be able to tell you that, no matter what might have gone on in the story preceding it, more and more often, this is how the chapters of my story end.