Everyone has stories that make up who they are. Stories they may or may not tell others, but most definitely tell themselves. Some are broad - about your upbringing. Others are more specific - they explain why you behave a certain way in certain circumstances.
I have stories about moving a lot as a kid (no, my dad wasn't in the army). I have stories about my mom not eating food in front of me. I also have stories about friends, friends that fucked me over so bad that I'm a bit fucked up about friends.
But here's the thing. These stories are only pieces of me. It seems that when someone has a problem they look outside themselves and blame others. Often, they attribute the problems to some fundamental characteristic of that other person. Often they attribute their own responsibilities to something outside themselves or their control.
So, my story about moving a lot. I started out a shy kid. I have always loved to read, play soccer and play the piano. These aren't necessarily things that made me outgoing. So, we moved a lot and I stayed shy. It manifests itself differently these days. I am still shy, but probably most people don't know that. It looks awkward and trust me, I feel awkward. But, true to my upbringing I try my best to be polite and kind. I can be catty, but that is another story :).
Story two - I don't actually recall my mom eating with us. She was always serving us great, healthy food and I know she sat down and I know she ate, but I just didn't see it. I began at a very early age to hide the "bad foods" that I ate. I would hear someone come down the stairs and I would take my cookies and run. Of course, when my dad asked why all the cookies were gone I guiltily denied it. I didn't know until years later that my mom was doing the same thing.
Is it my mom's fault I have eating issues? Nope. Well, maybe it was, but it is mine now. I just can't stop thinking about those cookies in the pantry. And as much as I want to have a smooth calm life, mine is destined differently.
OK. The last one. It kind of relates to the first in a way, but in the teens and twenties I really got fucked over by friends. Not once, not twice, but three times were people (I mean women) horrendous friends in an increasingly almost evil manner. I've actually been semi-stalked by a woman. How creepy is that? So, it might not surprise you to find out I have friend issues.
Except - wait a second. These stories are beginning to sound old. Hubbend and I moved to Oregon, started clean, hunkered down for a few years and stuck to ourselves. But in the past few years we have started to come out of our shells, make friends and surround ourselves solely with good people. Good friends. I made a list earlier this week of people I truly care about expecting it to have three people on it. It was WAYYYYY longer than that.
So, not to get too Landmark-y on you, I think I need to stand in the clearing and declare my stories dead. I am a good friend and I no longer need to stand behind an old story. I have lost a lot of weight and no longer need to apologize for my size. I have lived in Oregon longer than I have anywhere in my entire life and I now feel I belong.
Goodbye old stories. Hello new ones. And thank you for being in my life. And thank you for leaving my past out of it. Oh, and if you want to be on my list, please let me know, I'd love to add you to it. Chances are though, you probably already are.