I’ve been thinking about the story of ME a lot lately. The chapters and characters and plot devices that have gotten me to this point. I know the book of my life is still being written, but I’ve been contemplating the preceding chapters a whole lot. I’ve toyed with writing some of the stories, but the general worries about “not just my story” and “will this make anyone upset” and “am I remembering correctly” stop me. And of course, “who really needs to know about that time in 9th grade that xyz happened?”
And yet, the stories keep swirling. They are pieces of what has shaped me. The people from my past helped make me who I am. I think of some of them OFTEN. I think of some of them rarely. I think of a lot of them with curious frequency lately.
How does an incident from your childhood or early adulthood or even last year build the you that sits here now? How do the events chisel away to get to create YOU? Not just the big events either. Those make sense in many cases. But also the little events.
I was thinking this morning of riding around town in my high school boyfriend’s convertible with two of my best friends. There’s not much else to the story–we were heading to lunch, probably, and there was sun and music and laughter and wind through my hair. How does that moment work to shape me? How does that memory, layered on other memories, building a tower of remembrances and moments…how does that influence the Ginger that is sitting here right now?
Or does it? Is it just a nice memory, but not something that has helped shape me? Is it just a thing, that happened?
The other day, I was sitting on the couch with Jackson watching TV. He was curled up under my arm, and we were watching TV. I went to move him, so that I could go change my clothes, and he freaked out. He wanted MOMMY (I already miss mama, I’ll be honest). He grabbed my arm with his little hand and pulled me towards him. So we sat. We sat, the two of us. He watched TV and petted my arm, that he still hadn’t let go of, and I watched him, and petted his mop of curls.
That moment, one of a million. Does it add to the story of me? How about to the story of him?
Or was it just a nice moment?
A different moment, the same curls
It’s only been in recent years that I started wondering whether I was making the most of my life. Having a child has given me a glimpse into mortality that I never really acknowledged previously, and while that’s a whole other post for another day, I do find myself wondering if I’m making enough of MY life. Because I see now the timeline of this whole living thing, where before I didn’t. And I don’t want to get to the end of my timeline, the last page of my book, and go, “well, that was disappointing.” Or worse, “well, that was boring.”
And yet, I have moments with a little boy patting my arm. I have moments with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. I have a million other moments, some happy, some not, some big and some little. Those moments are part of me. I am writing some kind of story here. It may not be a bestseller or top any kind of chart, but this story WILL be good. And the character development may take a while, but it’s getting there. Moment by moment.