I used to manage a horse farm. In fact, that is what I went to college for. They were always my passion. As a small girl growing up in Lancaster, PA, I dreamed a runaway horse and buggy would drive by and I would be the one to stop it and be able to keep the horse.
I don’t know where I thought the owner would be, but those small details don’t matter when you are dreaming.
I now work on teeth. I am an orthodontist assistant.
When I tell people this, they give me a funny look. People wonder how I went from horses to teeth.
What makes our stories our stories? Why do we decide to take the paths we do? In the past sometimes my story seemed guided. Sometimes random. Now it seems a wild mix of both.
I would often look back and wonder, “How did I end up here?” Actually, similar to my writing, I can sit down to write one thing and a totally different story will come out through my fingers. I have heard writers talk about how they just have to let the story play out.
In their books, the characters take on their own story and fight against the writer. I can relate to this. I can sit down and start writing about getting a box of freshly made warm donuts from Crispy Creme and what comes out is how I heard of a guy going on a whale search in Antartica.
Where does this stuff come from?
But as a writer, I have to let it out. Then the real words, the ones I meant to say, can come out.
You gotta unstop the drain, you know?
So, back to our stories. Back to my story of horses and people’s teeth. How do they fit together? How does that make a good story?
I want a good story. I want to ride horses again.
I’ve decided to let my story be it’s story. It is just that. A story of ups and downs and highs and lows but all the while weaving and winding a complex web of life and experiences. Life and experiences. Experiences.
“Be a good student of life” I’ve heard it said. I can honestly say I have been. I’ve hiked in Tibet, yes I have. I’ve galloped on the back of a white horse through a meadow, jumping over logs and into water, yes I have.
I’ve biked to the top of a mountain in China and had tea with an old lady with crinkles around her eyes. We didn’t understand each other, not with our words, but our eyes told the same story.
I’ve gotten sunburned in Australia at Christmas, hiked in waist deep snow in Colorado. I’ve rounded up cattle by horseback in Montana, seen the sun rise over the mountains in Wyoming, and have eaten Mexican food in Hollywood, California. I have shown orphans in Mongolia how to brush their teeth and been in Seoul Korea’s airport four times.
I raised 17 parakeets when I was young and have 6 siblings.
I’ve been depressed and happy. I have had a little and a lot. I lived with a lot of people and a few.
This is my story.
But this is only part of it. The rest is being written today, tomorrow… as long as I am here, I am going to write a story.
And, I’m going to make it a good one!
Question: How is your story writing going? I would love to hear!