The Story of You

April 18, 2011

This is the story of one of my readers. Feel free to leave words of encouragement in the reply section. I hope you learn something about yourself by reading the story of someone else.

Her Background

Age: 28
Gender: F emale
State of Birth: NV
Current State: TN
Marital Status: Married
Children: Not no, but heck no

Her Story

1. What is the last book you read?  In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks . . . and Other Complaints from an Angry Middle-Aged White Guy by Adam Carolla. Absolutely hilarious! I highly recommend this book if you frequently rant about the most mundane annoyances of life. I concur with approximately 85% of his viewpoints, and I was able to remain un-offended by the other 15%. I’m expanding my reading repertoire to include memoirs and other types of non-fiction. I’m currently reading The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio; so far The Rite is fascinating yet mildly creepy.

2.  What is your favorite book?  Hmm . . . this is a difficult question. I have so many favorites! I guess I’ll narrow it down to two. First: Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll (with fabulous illustrations by the original illustrator, Sir John Tenniel). This book fascinated me as a child—even more so than its predecessor Alice in Wonderland. As a grownup, the story resonates even more because the life lessons Alice experiences are too intense for a child to comprehend. Children see the story as a great adventure, while adults may read it as a metaphor (or just a pretty awesome hallucination). Second: The World According to Garp by John Irving. Please don’t watch the movie as it is not Robin Williams’ best work. This is a timeless classic for anyone who has ever had a parent or been a parent. It will make you laugh and cry at the same time. My dad loved this book, so when he died, I made it a goal to read it. I’m so glad I did. It provides a connection to my father I otherwise would never have had, and I completely understand his passion for Irving’s work.

3. What do you do for fun?  I try to fit fun into my regular schedule. During the week, I happy hour with friends, run (new hobby and quite enjoying it), or go to Hot Yoga. As you can see, distressing is a big part of my weekday fun. On weekends, I love to spend time with my husband and friends eating out and having game nights. We love to try new restaurants and dishes (my husband makes fun of me because I consider food fun, but it totally is). Game nights get pretty heated, but I wouldn’t trade those nights for anything. Reading is another hobby that I don’t have as much time for anymore, but it’s something I consider fun.  Also, anything that makes me laugh is a great time—usually any of the above does the trick.

4. What is your most treasured memory?  I was about twelve when my mom and I went to a wildlife preserve not far from the town I grew up in. My parents had been fighting, which was the status quo back then, so we escaped to do something fun, something that just the two of us could enjoy. While we were driving through the preserve, a giraffe crossed the path. Of course, we stopped to let her (she was graceful in an Audrey Hepburn kind of way, so I assume she was a she) cross the path. Instead of walking by without noticing us, she leaned down from her great height, looked into our eyes, and licked the hood of my mother’s station wagon. It was as if she was giving us an encouraging maternal push. My mom and I laughed hysterically and genuinely for the first time in a long time. I will always keep that experience close to my heart, and I know that it meant a lot to my mother as well; her house is covered in giraffe tchotchkes that she’s collected since that day.

5. What causes you to lose sleep at night?  I lose sleep when I know someone I love is troubled or worried, and I can’t do anything to help them.  Also, the feeling that I’ve disappointed someone bothers me enough to lose sleep many nights. I have very high expectations for myself as a friend, and I know I don’t meet them nearly enough.

6. How do you define grace?  Grace is the characteristic of being able to fall on your face in a crowded room, pick yourself up, smile, and keep on walking with your shoulders back and head held high. Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically. If you actually fell on your face in a crowded room, I would laugh my butt off. Seriously, though, if you can live life without taking yourself too seriously, but without losing your self-respect, then I consider that to be living gracefully.

7. Describe an event of grace exemplified in your life.  I’ve had such wonderful women role models in my life who exemplify grace and inspire me to do the same—my mother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and the great actress Lauren Bacall. I think grace as I describe it above is usually present during difficult or stressful times in our lives—challenges in relationships, careers, health. The past two years have been just that, a challenge. I moved to Nashville and started a new career, I bought a house, I got a new puppy (believe me, still a challenge), and I got married. Through all of this I rose to the challenge gracefully and in a way that proves I’ve finally become an adult woman. Sometimes I slip and choose the less-than-graceful path, but I look to my role models and strive to be the epitome of grace.

8. Do you have any parting words for my readers?  “If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Lewis Carroll – This is my favorite quote. I have no idea what or who I want to be when I grow up, and that used to bother me and keep me up at nights. Now I know it’s okay to be undecided and that growing up can be an adventure. We lose a lot of our adventurous spirit the older we get, so it’s good to be reminded every now and then that dreaming is still a viable pastime.

Do you relate to this reader? If so, tell her how by commenting on this post.

Want to participate in The Story of You? Let me know! I publish posts in this category once a month.

Follow me on Twitter: @hbur3234

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