The word story invokes different ideas for everyone. For my 10-year-old, the word story denotes a fairytale, specifically Snow White. When I hear or see the word story, my first thought is history, all the things that make up the story. When I look up story in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, I discover a few different definitions: an account of incidents or events, a fictional narrative, a widely spread rumor, and a legend. And of course, if we are discussing stories, we have to acknowledge the ever-popular Instagram stories.
I love people, I love knowing people and talking to people, I love to ask why and how questions, I love the “tell me more about that” response, I love to dig deep. I love stories, getting to know people through their stories, whether it’s only a short chat or big deep questions, stories matter to me.
Stories shape our lives. Stories are who we are. Stories inform who we are going to be and where we are going. Stories are our legacy. We want to share our stories with the people around us; we want our stories to intersect with the stories of our loved ones. We want our stories to act as a cautionary tale at times and as inspiration at other times. We want our stories to matter.
What stories are shaping your life, your decisions, and direction? I’ve allowed fictional narratives and widely spread rumors to influence my story and my path for too long. I’ve treated them like a factual account of incidents and events in my life, when all they are is lies, informing me to go in the wrong directions.
Fairytales are fun when we are young, and legends can inspire our big dreams. But the adventure, the romance, the comedy, and even the drama are the real story of our lives. They are the story of the big beautiful life we live every day, the real and accurate account of our life that becomes our legacy. Live your story well.