I frequently think about the story that my life will tell. The story of a daughter, sister, wife, mother, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The story of a woman who was born a baby and who thought she'd be a little girl forever.
I think about the various people I intersect with as I'm playing out different parts of my story. What do those people who get to see part of me think my story is? Like the bank teller who always talks to me about fitness when she sees me in my workout gear. What does she think my story is? Or the server at my favorite deli who knows my order by heart. What's my story in her eyes? And why the heck am I at that deli so often ordering that same broccoli salad and coffee every time I'm there? "What is it exactly that that Asian woman with paint stains on her shirt doing anyway?" she must be thinking.
"And there she is again, next to that pianist, listening sincerely and daydreaming intently. What is her story?"
But what about the pianist? What's his story? Does he play the piano all the time? Or just at night? Does he have children? Does he like broccoli salad and coffee? And who's that guy standing behind him with the envelope? What's his story? How did we all get here?
I wake up most mornings wondering what new thing about the universe I'll get to see through art. Sometimes, I want to be regimented and explore things on a list ... like let's explore nature, and then let's explore childhood, and then let's explore motherhood. Or something like that. Because I think to myself that my story should go around those loops ... in an orderly sort of way.
But more times than not, I find myself meandering off of my lists ... as I step into abstractions where I find the most amazingly fantastical things that are beyond the confines of what I think my story is or how I think the rest of it should be steered.
It's within those abstractions where new stories get birthed ... and where I can see the tiniest kernels that all relate.
I like that. Meandering off, that is. I like letting myself be less chronological, less literal, less orderly, less obvious, and less list-oriented ... and allow myself to step into the portals of abstractions to discover new and different, where reality and imagination dance together to help me express my story. A story that continues to become.