Monday, May 11, 2009
I love stories for many reasons. Stories of our own lives and stories of others' lives connect us to one another through their many intersections and diversions. We use our own stories to reflect and make sense of what has happened and its significance. These stories can be ones of regret, of joy and happiness, and of loss, but they're always part of something larger. They give us narrative control over our lives up to the present.
I love stories of yesterday: I surprised my mom with flowers while she tended to my headache; then I drove to Nana's where she fixed me breakfast (I feel spoiled!) and I carried a big bag of mulch from her car. We cheered on the Reds - twice Nana said, wrongly, "They won't come back" - unfortunately, the third time she was right.
And I love stories of the day before: I went to the Reds game with great friends in a great crowd. We cheered them to victory. Later, when we met up with more people at a local watering hole, I had surprising feelings of community and civic pride.
I know what to do with stories from yesterday and the day before. I know how to sort them and put them in a larger picture. But today? Tomorrow? These throw me. I'm anxious about these days and their narrative course.
My old manager used to say, as I interviewed again and again for a position with more hours and benefits, that I was doing fine in my interviews: just keep doing what I've been doing, and one of these positions will pan out. He was right - eventually I got the job I'd been trying for.
And so that's what I thought I was doing, now. I've been happy. I've been content. I've basically been the person I want to be. I thought that, if I keep doing what I've been doing, things will work out: Life, careers, love, etc. But I don't think I can be complacent. I don't want to just have a tenuous hold on some construct of happiness. I want something more tangible.
I realized that some of my past stories are still playing out, and it's thrown me. I'm thrown.