The First Story

I have so many stories that its hard to know where to start.  Start at the beginning sounds like the obvious solution but where exactly is the beginning?  Is the beginning that point in my life when I decided to be happy or is it the day I was born?  There is a good 40 years + between those two events, and I suspect that the day I decided to be happy was not actually a singular day but rather a series of small triumphant epiphanies over time that have culminated in my current state of equilibrium.  The earliest most self-aware decision I remember making came when I was in my thirties, and was about a man, or men in general to be more precise and the last acutely self-aware decision I made was about two years ago when I decided that I did not love my mother and that I would prefer a life without her in it.  She is still in my life, but it’s definitely on different terms than before “decision day”.  I  am pretty certain that this blog will feature quite a number of stories about my experience of being mothered, indeed probably a mini-series, although the focus of this blog is not intended to be about that, despite how instrumental it was in shaping who I am and who I have become.

So what story should I tell to get the ball rolling?  Maybe I should start with not a story per say but more of an explanation of my hopes for this blog and why I would like to both share and collect stories.  I would say that I have been blessed with an exuberance of empathy, a knack for people and an ability to be  a good listener and counselor.  This comes from a blend of professional training and personal interest.   I use these skills to foster good relationships with my colleagues, to be a good peer and mentor and to develop deep, trusting and meaningful relationships with my friends (and a select few family members).  I sound like one of life’s natural caregivers, a people person, and really I am, excuse the humble brag! I find talking and sharing with others to be a fascinating and rewarding experience and I want to create a space to do more of it.  However, I’m still human and so at times this interest is more like a compulsion, sometime that I have to curb because like a lot of things in life it’s about the balance, the give and the take of human relationships.  I honed my emotional intelligence skills early and out of necessity as my home life provided few cues to the inner state of my parents.  That’s all I want to say on that for the moment but I bring it up to illustrate that what I now perceive as one of my real strengthens came from a situation of disadvantage.  I became interested in others as others were not necessarily  interested in me.  I’ve also learned that talking about these phenomena and sharing stories of what makes us tick, our early years, our current experiences, our unresolved resentments, whatever it might be that is laying on our mind or in fact dormant in our mind but still potent, is a powerful way of knowing thyself and addressing things that might be preventing us from being our most happy and fulfilled selves.

What I hope for this blog is for me to be able to share stories about some of the insights and experiences I have had that have been most enlightening and cathartic in my life.  Although I am no one you know I still hope that my readers will find commonalities in my stories that help them understand themselves, in the past or the present, and perhaps through sharing comments and stories open a dialogue to continue that process of self-awareness and understanding.   This isn’t meant to be an advice column format but rather a place where you and I can share whatever stories we have in an anonymous fashion.  We can choose to ask for the input of others, or just lay out our stories for ourselves, the act of sharing being the end point with no desire for comment or introspection by others. Its your choice. Its feels empowering and freeing to let these stories out so go ahead and unburden some psychic weight or share something joyful and revel in that feeling and the sharing of it. So I ask you again, what story would you like to tell to no one you know?

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