Stories aren’t just for kids. They help us connect, help us feel empathy, offer us solutions we haven’t thought of and motivate us to try one more time. Each of us has a story. Our life, our unique personality, and perspective are all a part of our story. But there are few who are brave enough to share their story. There is a Facebook version where all the kids are smiling, the house is clean and the laundry isn’t stacked to the ceiling. Photos show us smiling and perfectly matching with colors that work well with our complexion. If we told people the real story we know what would happen. They would talk about us, judge us, criticize our choices, and our dreams. So, we keep our story to yourself. We hide it away so that no one can ever see it; we determine never to share it.
Our story has moments of celebration, courage, and pure joy. The good and the bad all fit together to make a unique one of a kind story. This story could change lives, encourage someone to try one more time, inspire others to rise above the challenges in their life. It really could, but we have to have the courage to share the real story first. It’s scary. We feel vulnerable and exposed. It’s like going onto a stage and starting to talk and suddenly hearing the dreaded gong. Better not to risk all that humiliation and just play it safe right? I don’t think so.
I’ve dared to share parts of my story and I’m still here. I’ve allowed others to hear how I am sad because I can’t see the world I live in. I want to know for myself what a sunrise looks like. No words can adequately paint a picture for me. I have found ways of seeing. I love reading. Books can describe places and colors I’ll never see. People feel sad I can’t see. That’s ok; I don’t want their sadness to turn in to pity. I have a wonderful life but like everyone else sometimes it’s hard. I have different challenges than others do. We all have to find ways to overcome our challenges. The hard times in life can either make you or break you. It’s all about how you respond.
I feel drawn to people others tend to ignore. I know what it feels like to be different and alone. I remember being the only blind child in my elementary school. Due to premature birth, one of my eyes is much smaller than the other. I am totally blind. Kids would ask me what’s wrong with you? I felt like I was always on display. I was saddened to know I wasn’t like everyone else. Sometimes I cried because I just wanted to be normal whatever that is. I share this story with my friend Ayanna who is also blind. She is surprised to know that someone else felt as she does. Someone can say I know just how you feel and it’s really true. She feels encouraged to see that I’m all grown up now. I survived all the cutting remarks all the dumb questions.
Sharing our stories can help others and we’ll feel as though all we went through wasn’t a total waste. You have a unique story that no one else has. Your perspective, your choices, your responses to life could be just what someone needs to hear. Don’t be ashamed of your story and hate it wishing you had someone else’s. Your story isn’t over. If you don’t like how it is sounding the good news is that it is your story and you can change the ending. It doesn’t have to end as others expected, turn the page and start a new chapter.