I think I’ve run out of stories.
I mean, I’ve already told you everything about my terrible housekeeping abilities, my love of my minivan, my kids' penchant for pop songs, stories from Indiana, stories from New York, my thoughts on holidays and ghosts and sharks and the Sock Monster. I’ve told you about the time I rear-ended a city bus and the time I went skydiving.
What more could I possibly have to tell? I’m just not that interesting.
I mean, I guess I could tell you about my husband and my wedding reception where our guests had so much fun we were politely told the next morning by the hotel that we might want to consider never coming back again. Or the time my college roommate and I had so much fun our freshman year that we were told politely by the residential committee that once we moved out of the dorm we might want to consider never coming back again. I could tell you about how I got the first favorite childhood pet that felt like mine, a dog called Tubby (a clever trick by my mom), or how I got my first adult pet, a cat called Cleo (a clever trick by an ex-boyfriend). I could tell you about the harrowing birth of my daughter or the quiet death of my father. I could tell you about the time my co-workers and I volunteered at Ground Zero in the weeks after 9/11 or the time I almost got the chance to audition to be a Fly Girl. I could tell you about the time I tried to be a finalist to be a cover model for Seventeen Magazine or the time I got to teach a theater summer camp at Northwestern University. But you don’t want to hear any of those stories, do you? Because those are just my boring old life stories, and you already have your own pack of life stories. You don’t need me cluttering up your bandwidth.
(insert scratching of record needle, stopping this crazy album in its tracks)
How many times have you heard someone cutting themselves down, or deciding for you that you wouldn’t be interested in what they have to say? How often have you done it yourself? How often do we retreat from the table or the stage, believing that we are not good enough, interesting enough, worth enough? How often do we minimize our voice, so as not to be perceived as too audacious or arrogant? How many times have you deferred, when really you wanted to step forward?
Because, look: the truth is, if you don’t care about my stories than you won’t read them. That’s cool. Your decision to read them or not read them has nothing to do with me—though my decision to tell them or not tell them has everything to do with me. And shame on me if I have a story to tell and I decide not to tell it for fear of…
So is there a song in your throat? A story in your head? An opinion on your tongue? A fashionista hanging in your closet? Step forward into the light—I guarantee you at least one person will be happy you did, and who cares about all the rest.
In what way can you declare yourself good enough today?