“We are all stories in the end, just make it a good one.”~Doctor Who
Being the sort of person who ruminates on things written or said or even left unsaid, I think it is quite natural for me to have had the theme of stories twisting about inside my head for a while now. Four years ago today, I had an appointment with my chiropractor that ended up being more of a mental therapy session than a physical one. One of the many things I like about my chiropractor is the way he genuinely connects with his patients on a personal level and how that compliments his treatments. He does not view his patients as merely walking, talking injuries or diseases or excerpts from a medical textbook. In my experiences with dozens of health care providers of all sorts, this level of whole person care is exceedingly rare, but it makes all the difference in the world when you receive it. Since that day four years ago, I reflect back on that conversation and the blog post that flowed from it with some regularity and particularly the past month or so.
Stories tend to have chapters, at least that is true if you have moved on from the picture and learn to read books of early childhood. Life has chapters, too, but then again, what is life if not an epic story. As I have been reflecting on the past four years, I have realized that that moment was the beginning of a new chapter for me. Sure, I might have thought the same at that time, but I could never have anticipated where my story would lead me to four years later. I couldn’t even foresee what the next few weeks would lay at my feet, and those troubles were so much greater than what led up to that conversation with my chiropractor. Isn’t that ironic? Something inconsequential devastated me for a day or two until I was given a listening ear and good advice. And yet, that compassionate ear and good advice reminded me of who I am and what makes me me and cleared the debris so I could see the solid foundation beneath my feet, which enabled me to traverse the troubles ahead with more grace and dignity than I would have thought possible.
The purpose of my blog is, I suppose, to tell my story, to share my journey of growing and becoming. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I forget who I am and what matters most in determining who I am. My chiropractor has said that I will always need to be reminded of this, because I am never going to feel as if I have arrived at my best or fully defined self. I could not agree more. I am not content with good enough. I am not satisfied with being less than. When I read a good book or watch a good movie, I want to know more. What happens in the story after I turn the last page or after the credits roll? I want to know! And personally, I want to be more, not to be famous or anything so outwardly showy or shallow. I don’t even know how to explain it; it is just the way I roll. This is part of my story.
The chapter of my life started four years ago has yet to be tidily wrapped up in anticipation of a new chapter’s beginning. I hadn’t expected this chapter to last so long, and I did get a little lost in the pages and weary of the narrative. If my life was an actual book, this chapter is one that I would quickly skim through once I realized how dusty and boring it was. There isn’t much that is exciting about healing something that seems prepared to fight you every step of the way. In fact, it’s rather exhausting, in real life and in the retelling. When you have stood on the top of mountains, it isn’t so easy to feel excited about standing on top of a mound of dirt, but that is precisely what the past few years have felt like. Personal victories have been small, seemingly inconsequential, and easily missed. Progress in some areas has stalled and in others regressed. The sad story gets really old very quickly. But the story does not need to end there.
“Go laugh in the places you have cried. Change the narrative.”~unknown
Having felt quite frequently that I have lost sight of myself and mulling over conversations on that subject, I have begun the arduous task of clearing the debris from my path once more. That solid foundation of who I am is still there beneath my feet. In fact, I have been standing on it all this time! That’s the thing about solid foundations…they are built to last and they support us even when we forget their existence. I am thankful for the One who has given me the ultimate foundation, and I am thankful for those who have been placed in my life and care enough to speak into it. You know what? I am also as thankful for the struggles along the way as I am the triumphs.
“If you look back at my story, it doesn’t matter where you look, but God’s fingerprints are all over the place.”~Jeremy Lin