I am a Storyteller.


I am a storyteller.

I am a lover of TED talks (you.must.watch.too).  Recently I got on a kick and watched several on Netflix.  Each of the ones I watched started with a strong woman declaring “I am a storyteller.”  I watched these speakers tell their story, share their lesson and bring the end of the talk to their point…  in these TED talks they must catch the listener and use only a small amount of time to bring you to understanding, believing or just knowing their point.

These woman talked about the way they were raised and how that changed or molded their story.  How experiences made them understand life and differences and similarities… in essence the real world.  I love hearing their voices, from a country in Africa, discussing how she grew up and then her journeys and experiences.  I couldn’t help but sit and watch and feel connected.  I felt the same way.  My story is not at all the same.  I am not from Africa and in my eyes, I am not from some exotic place.  I am pretty normal and American… I have lots and have lots of ideas of how the rest of the world is either in a normal sense or a different sense.  That is however perspective- and she reminded me just of that.

The connection I had to these women speakers and writers is their declaration and owning of the phrase “I am a Storyteller.”  My ears heard two very different women,  two very different stories, two very different points being made- declaring the same title.  In a way I felt like I found my title.  I am a Storyteller.  I think it hit me that night… as I wander around this world thinking of what to be when I grow up… knowing that inside of me I want to share this life and journey and these lessons… I want to tell the story.  How the heck had I never let myself know that I am a Storyteller?

I have said since the beginning, when Madeline first passed, that I can share- so I must.  It isn’t something I do for fun, sometimes it is freaking hard.  It isn’t something I do to clean my brain, sometimes it piles my brain up with so much to sort, write, speak, think… that it would be so easy to let it go.  It isn’t something I do just to help me… it is a job, a declaration of me.  I have to share, because someone needs to see it.  There is a person who needs to read and connect and hear this journey.  They might not be able to share…

I meet people I know I needed.  I also see people taking this journey and these lessons with them.  I see people ready for action when trauma hits in their community.  I see the world carry other families when hard stuff happens.  I see people reach and know God in a way they didn’t before.   I see people understand death and life in a way that is so much more real and less dark.  I see people building confidence in themselves at the hardest point in a divorce or separation.  I see my storytelling changing things…

A few weeks ago, I got two phone calls in one morning.  One from my sister and one from my sister-in-law… I was told that a local little baby passed away suddenly at his babysitters.  What should they do?  I told them what I tell them all… be there forever.  Make sure they are carried.  Get the babies fingerprints, a bit of hair, a mold of foot… work fast and be there.  I took those prints and molds to a local place in Albany to have Sterling Silver Fingerprint charms made.  I wanted to meet Jenna, the mom, tomorrow.  I stopped into my sister’s hair shop for back-to-school haircuts and got settled.  After a few minutes, Cortney said “Do you want to introduce them?” to her coworker.  I realized that Jenna was there getting her hair done.  I HUGGED her… I told her I had to grab something from my car for her.  I got the prints and molds… and brought them in.  I was so glad to get to give them to her.  The silver charms weren’t done yet, but it was enough to bring this box of clay her sons skin had touched and imprinted.  I wondered how she was, but knew that was a stupid question.  If she is like me, she hadn’t yet really known he was gone.  It took a while for me to know… shock and survival mode I think.  I told her I want to be there for her, my family will always be there for them… and if they need anything please let me know.  I also told her I would be in contact very soon.  She left and I thought and felt for her for a while…

Storyteller.  I can share.  I can hug.  I can support.  I can speak.  I can change.  I can write.  I can relate.  I can help build… therefore I must.  I am a Storyteller.  I have been since I can remember.  When I was young my imagination thought up awesome and deep stories and adventures.  I loved to think of other people and what they were doing in their life, or people watching and imagining their ‘story’.  It is still a fun use of my imagination, to.this.day.  What if I didn’t share?  What if I sat on my declaration and knowledge that this is who I am?  What would this all look like… how would I see the world?

I will always tell my Story.  I will always help others live, tell, survive, build, create, restart, change, get through, make sense of… theirs.  I love a good story.  I love telling a good story.  I am thankful for the word to build this part of me more… I am thankful for the gift of gab (or I guess good storytelling)… I hope that I use this gift to change and help and build others and myself…


PS… here is the TED talk Storyteller that I felt a deep connection to- http://www.ted.com/speakers/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie


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