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What’s Your Story?

7 Comments 01 July 2010

Facebook is a very odd phenomenon.  It connects us with people that in the normal run of life might never cross our paths.  Facebook picks pieces or people out of our story and zooms them to the front and center and we are once again face to face (virtually of course) with them again.  And with these people from our lives, people who have been a part of our story, come pieces of our story that remind us of our beginning.

I’ve said many times that I believe that the story of our lives is what makes us who we are today.  Thinking through my personal story is and has been, in my opinion, very instrumental in considering my future.  The first chapters of a book are necessary to understand the middle and the beginning and middle are imperative if you want to find your way to the end with any clarity.  Facebook gave me another little piece of my beginning today.  I “friended” my middle school basketball and track coach.

Today, she sent me this little note:

Hey again Jorja, I don’t have a real great memory with so many former OBMS students in my head… but after seeing you on facebook… here is my OBMS flashback: It was “Career Week” or something like that… and some of you were chosen to share your dreams at an assembly. You came dressed like the career of your choice that day at school. I remember you… your sassy, cute self in that adorable short haircut… prancing up to the microphone in your “designer” outfit to announce that you planned to be an architect. And from what I see on facebook… you have done just that with your beautiful family! I’d ” bet the farm” that you are an exceptional wife and mother!

Her comments made me remember wanting to be an architect and how much I loved building things.  I loved making and creating things.  I took Shop instead of Home Economics.  I loved the woodworking, the building, the leather crafts and all of that stuff!  I still love making things, building things, but I wrote her back and told her that I have found through the years that I am much better at “building” people.  Helping them see where the pieces fit and walking beside them while they figure out a plan.  I want to make things better, to put them in place, to create something lovely out of the pieces of my life and the lives of others.

I think I am an architect of sorts, of people, of relationships and of my own story.  It is good to think about my coach and the part that she played in my story.  It is good to ponder that little seventh grader who wanted to be an architect and consider the beginning of my story.  The middle is here now, the middle of my story, and it truly helps me decipher the present by going back to the beginning.

It is an excellent exercise to write out your story.  I don’t mean a full-blown novel, but who are you?  What do you think about when you consider the beginning of your story?  Who shaped you?  What pieces or people make up your foundation?  How do you think your middle reflects your beginning?  Where do you find yourself now?  What do you want to happen between the middle and the end?  Where are you headed?  I’d love to read your story.  Send it to me at [email protected] .  I would love to post a few stories…

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7 Comments so far

  1. kate says:

    okay. i haven’t even read the post yet… but i just need to say how much i LOVE that picture of you!! okay… i’m going to read now…

  2. Cynthia Williams Insko says:

    Jorja- I like this challenge and your post from yesterday about travel helped me remember part of my story. I recently had to cancel a trip at the last minute and was so angry and disappointed about the whole thing that I had to stop and ask where all of that strong emotion was coming from. Then I read your post and remembered that travel was a very important part of my story as a child and up until marriage. A spiritual director suggested to me a few months ago that perhaps I was feeling lonely because I was missing parts of myself that I hadn’t nurtured or seen in a while. Thinking through my story has helped me mull this over. Thanks for helping remind me that I am lonely for travel and I need to make it happen and plan a trip to look forward to…in spite of low funds and busy schedules.

  3. Chrissy ballard says:

    Story..”what is” is a result of “what was”….
    Going back in order to go forward has for sure been a journey in the raw for this middle georgia girl …to go back and reflect without being true to myself and others has potential to produce in me nothing more than another layer of self protection.I have got to keep it real while probing the depths of the story of me and do the hard work of pursuing emotional health. I am learning to be ok with how God made me, to name that which wants to remain unnamed so that we all can taste just a little more freedom while we are stuck with each other here on this round ball, to express myself uniquely without the ugly twins shame and guilt robbing me of my strength and dignity..these are just a couple of nuggets that have come to the surface of my soul as a result of this journey. this old mare ain’t what she used to be:)

    • Jorja says:

      chrissy, so excited you will be in nashvegas! know it is tough to uproot yet again, but hopefully you will be able to flourish there. i can see that farm that i’ve heard you talk about one day…girls, women…it could happen! so love who you are…lovely, just lovely!

  4. Kristy says:

    I am sure that much of me becoming a writer has to do with my working out past, present and future emotions. I get to live my story – or aspects of it, anyway — only, this time, I get to tell it the way I want to tell it, or this time I finally get to make sense of it. I sometimes surprise myself with truth. 🙂


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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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