The importance of sharing your story
The world is full of people who are sick of hearing the same stories
Full of amazing women like you and me who go to bed feeling completely alone in our struggles because no one is talking about them in a way that feels HUMAN. In a way that feels like us.
I want to live in a world full of stories that show the truth. That show my truth, your truth and Jane down the road's truth. I don't want to live in a world where our views on life, and our tiny moments of insights are saved for a perfect picture on Instagram.
Because, you know what? Not all stories are beautiful, have a happy ending and end up with a picture on Instagram. So many of us are hiding our stories, ashamed, because they stick out, because they're ugly, because they don't fit into the status quo, because we don't see them anywhere we look, and we believe we're completely alone in our struggles.
The patchwork lives of the many are so much more interesting
They're full of rough edges, not quite finished parts, bits that went seriously wrong but we managed to botch together, and things that went well that perhaps we don't talk about enough. They're full of lose strings and lose ends that don't get tied up neatly like the end of a TV series, full of bits that are coming apart at the seams, and full of ridiculously deep colours and memories that somehow, even though completely jumbled up, unexplainably makes sense to us.
Like the time I mispronounced something during a business presentation and ended up shouting vagina. Really loud.
Or the time, aged 14, when I got a toffee got caught up in my brace at the cinema with my best friend, and had to go to the hospital with half my brace hanging out my mouth.
Or the time I found out ten years later, that the my very handsome childhood friend had liked me all along.
Or the time I had such a heavy period during a lecture where were were watching Slumdog Millionaire, that I had to stay behind until everyone had left to sneak out because I'd bled through my jeans. And the chair.
Or the time a cruel boy asked me in front of my English class 'Meg, how does it feel to know you'll never be attractive?" In response I laughed, to take away everyone else's sheer discomfort.
Or the time, the doctor put me on the pill and I put on five stone within a year and stretch marks more complicated than the road system in India.
Your life might not make sense
Mine doesn't. But it's made up of thousands of stories. Thousands of stories that are yours alone. Hundreds of thousands of moments that will never end up on your Facebook feed. Memories that are yours alone.
On a good day, I'd tell you that I wouldn't take one story back for one second. On a not so good day, I'd tell you that there are several things in my life, specifically things that have have happened to other people, that I would take back within a heartbeat.
But these stories? The ones you laugh about, the ones you hold your head in shame about, the ones that make you feel brave?They set you apart from everyone else. They form your passions, your curiosities, you knowledge, your sense of humour and your sense of self worth. They define you.
Nothing is ever going to be perfect. That's the imperfectly perfect joy of life. Spending your time trying to make it all make sense, trying to be something you're not, or trying to write the next chapter of your story that is 'prettier', is futile.
Stand tall. Own your story. Don't deny the bits you don't like. You can't watch One Tree Hill and deny Uncle Keith's death because you thought it was wrong and devastatingly sad. The entire series wouldn't make sense without it.
The world needs your story
The world is desperate for your story. We all need your story. We need to know the things that make you feel like you're on fire and the monsters that hide under your bed.
Through other peoples stories we start to make sense of ourselves. And there is always more space for more stories. Because no stories are ever the same and no story is boring.
I can't sum it up more perfectly than Brené Brown: "Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it."
There's a whole book of stories out there, and it's time for you to become the storyteller.