February 05, 2012

WHAT IS MY STORY?

Tonight I went on a date. With my husband. Like, the kind where you leave the house wearing lipstick and go someplace like a restaurant or a theater. Only I just wore lip gloss and, of course, sweats. Nate's dad and brother are picking up his mom at the airport tomorrow; she has been in New Mexico helping out with the newest member of the Conger clan (new baby Brian Asher. Double yay!). And since we live so close to the airport...So, long story short, I put Clementine to bed, made pizza, and then Nate and I went to a movie at 10:30 PM! Thank you Grandpa and James for standing guard and protecting my little one while she dreams.

We saw Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I loved it. I went prepared to sob my eyes out. But instead found myself completely involved with the story and, more than anything, adoring that quirky, neurotic little boy. I walked out of the theater thinking, "If my little Clementine can be that brave and determined and curious with her life then I will have done my job well."

On our way home from the theater Nate and I were talking and an interesting topic came up. One worth thinking more about. It started out like this:

Tonia: That movie reminded me, again, how important it is not to judge people. Everyone has a story and if we knew their story we'd understand them better.
Nate: Yeah Tonia, I've been meaning to tell you that you are so judgmental (tongue-in-cheek).
Tonia: Well, I do make assumptions sometimes about people that are more on the eccentric side. But I guess we are all pretty eccentric when you think about it.
Nate: yup.
Tonia: But do I want anyone to know my story? I kind of feel like it's pretty typical. Born into a middle class family, had pets, learned to swim, broke a few bones, went to prom, college, jobs, marriage, baby. Nothing extraordinary happened or didn't happen. I really want my story to be interesting...not like everyone else's. Hopefully it will stand out in some way before it's over.
Nate: Oh Tonia (shaking his head).
Tonia: One of my greatest fears is living a mediocre life so I'm hoping my story can stand on its own some day. That it won't be so forgettable.

Anyway, that's the beginning of our conversation. But not the end of my thought process. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm ungrateful for my life or looking for any drama. I just want the story of Tonia to be one you want to be told over and over. Or the kind of story you start reading at bedtime and just can't put down.

I think the only way to have a story like that is to be authentic and live honestly. Not for anyone else but you. Not with any thought to "what will others think". The best way to encourage Clementine to live courageously, determined, and curious is be courageous, determined and curious. Make no room for doubting. No room for second guesses.

I'm writing my own story, word by word. And I'm helping create Clementine's story, and I'm playing a key role in Nate's story. So I have a lot of responsibility. I have a lot of living to do; a lot of living minus all the fear and doubt. That's a big pill to swallow.

2009, Mexico. I was horrified to scuba dive. But I did it.
And look at my smile. Must have more of these moments.
How do you do that? How do you live free of worry and doubt and second guessing? How do you live without the presence of fear? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, Ive been feeling this way since Elle was born. Please let me know if you come to a conclusion on the matter! Thanks for sharing Tonia.

Karina said...

I don't; constantly terrified. Let me know if you figure it out!

KellySummer said...

my life is totally more interesting cause i totally didn't get asked to prom. ha. totally know what you mean though. everything i try to write - novel wise - is about 99% autobiographical and i am narcisstically convinced that it will be a hot page turner when i finish it. :)

Kym said...

so, I wrote a similar post to this since Martin and I saw this movie on Friday. Just polishing it up and then I'll post. I love it when we are on the same wavelength.\
KC

Kym said...

P.S. Have I told you lately how much I love you? Well, I do. You are an amazing writer. Please keep sharing with us. Please!

Kym said...

P.S. Have I told you lately how much I love you? Well, I do. You are an amazing writer. Please keep sharing with us. Please!