Picture this: Fast forward 10 years, you’re talking to a complete stranger. He/she asks you – what’s your story.
Story 1: About 5 years ago, there was a time when I found myself obsessed with the status quo. I mean –to have fun, I had to be out on the town. To be happy, I had to have a boyfriend. To be cool, I had to have that bag + 10 others. And to be relevant, I had to have a million friends and a social media feed to prove it. Right? I was just living in sort of an everyday motion; the status quo, then repeat.
Story 2: Fast forward 3 years, I was in the midst of a full load including Chemistry 2 and Biology 2 at UT, working 20 hours/week at Kendra Scott, updating my [fledgling] blog, and pulling my hair out while I was at it. I didn’t have time to hit the town because I worked evenings, I couldn’t afford a cool bag, my social media only had pictures of lattes because I practically lived at Starbucks (#caffeineaddict), and my blog had one follower and it was my mom (lol). PS – I used to call these days the dark days.
But you know what I learned during the dark days? Hard work. And that good things – like a degree, a paycheck, influence, a career – don’t come easy. They take a lot of honest hard work, discipline, perseverance, and patience. Hard as it was, these became tools in my arsenal that took me places I have never even dreamt of.
Now let’s compare the two stories. I can tell you now which one is my favorite story to tell. Can you guess? You got it – the dark days. I was shaped by experiences that yes, were hard, but wow, they make a great story. I can also tell you right now that if I were to ever tell anyone story number 1, he or she would probably yawn in my face and say “Yes, Jessi, we’ve heard it all before.”
The idea to write a post about “Live a Great Story” is just to encourage a sense of purpose behind whatever season of life you’re in. I know we all are tempted to complain about the season if it isn’t easy and/or if it’s looking like the status quo on Instagram. But those seasons are precisely where we create the real stories. The real question is: is there something that you’re doing, working so hard on, that you can look back in 5-10 years and say: I learned ____ because of ____, I became x because of y, I accomplished this because of that? It may not always be glam and it may not have an Instagram filter slapped on it [I can tell you right now mine most definitely was not] – but that’s where the story is most exciting and that’s where it becomes your own and not everyone else’s.
There are a lot messages out there. That to have fun we must be partying, to be happy we must be in a relationship, and to look cool we must be social and out at the bars every weekend – and then be sure to post about it. But when you fast forward and place yourself in your future shoes, whatever society was whispering in your ear back then puts you in the same ole’ boat as everyone else (again, yawn?). This is where God is giving you the ability to create a story unique to you.
I like the quote: “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.” I personally had to re-evaluate my story, and boy, am I happy that I did. Remember, the struggle is not only part of the story – it’s actually the best part. Fast forward again 10 years: what would you have to say about yours today? XOXO