The other day, I waited outside school to pick up my girl. And a few moms I know were there and we all started talking. One mom mentioned she’d read my blog, and one post in particular thanks to the Stroller Traffic mention I’m convinced brought many of you here. Anyway, she told me she liked my piece and then she told me she’s also been through something very hard. But then she said something, something simple, but absolutely striking:
I have a story to tell, but I am not a writer.
And I looked at her and tried to insist that she is a writer. I think part of me thinks everyone is a writer, but I am realizing that’s not necessarily true. Some of us are word people, some of us can’t stay away from the page or screen, but not everyone.
Then she asked me something:
Would you ever be interested in telling other people’s stories?
And something in me clicked and lifted and I felt myself smiling. And I said yes. I would absolutely be interested in telling other people’s stories. I would love doing that because I think we all have stories big and small, simple and profound, happy and sad, and I believe and deeply that our stories should be told. I think stories are what save us and unite us.
And suddenly it was time to walk through those doors and collect our kids. But before we scurried away, this mom and I made a pact to talk after the holidays. And we will.
And I can’t stop thinking about this, this other people’s story thing. The funny thing is that I have been so careful here to tell only my own story. There are so many things I want to write, and say, but don’t because I feel like these things belong to other people. For some reason, I’d never thought about putting in words other people’s experiences, but I find the idea to be compelling, and important.
And so. Here I am at 9:47pm on a Thursday night in December, sitting in my cozy library, listening to Handel’s Messiah, buzzing about this idea, this idea to make this place about more than me. The truth is that it has always been about more than me; it has been about life and love and struggle and sweetness and sadness and all of the things that come with being human. But this is different, this idea. This would be about real stories other people have lived, stories people want told.
Anyway, I am tired and in danger of rambling on, so I will cut myself off. But I wanted to come here and tell you guys about this, this idea, this beginning of an idea. Because I love it. Whatever it turns out to be.
I guess what I want to know is whether you guys would be interested in glimpsing bits of other people’s lives here at ADR? Now that I am posting more, I feel a brilliant sense of freedom that I can add elements to the pot and also keep my old school silly and serious musings. Do you think people would feel comfortable sending me stories that I could then share (anonymously or no) here on the blog? I’m really interested to know what you guys think. I know it’s late and you are all tucked into your cozy nights and busy lives, so I don’t expect many comments, but hopefully I will get a few and some sense of whether to run with this.
Night night, guys.