Chili Millie here. Let’s talk about the steps of your beautiful life story.
I’m famous for calling youth: “the season of we don’t know what we don’t know.” We weren’t aware of the hop-scotch, step-by-step, connect the dots game that brings us from here to where we want to be.
I’ve been thinking about this ever since I noticed that Jan doesn’t seem to be able to answer simple questions with a simple, direct answer.
A good example is the question, “How long did it take you to write your book?” It should be an easy enough question, but she squints her eyes and takes a deep breath, as if she’s reaching into a murky pond to retrieve the answer. You’d expect her to say something like: “About 3 years or 2 years or 5 days.” But no, her mind starts hip-hopping around to tell the truest answer. I can just see those wheels turning in her head: Well, I blogged for 5 years about my life experiences, so those stories became blog posts, which became a book, and I added the questions from 25 people to make this new book. Not wanting to complicate the simple, she debates in her head how many stepping stones she should mention.
Maybe you’ve faced the same dilemma.
This makes me think about how we answer most questions: How did you meet Nancy? Mark? Anne? Why did you move to Arizona? Texas? Belgium? What made you decide to be an artist? A dentist? A dolly grip? Simple questions, yet a story behind each answer.
Come to think of it, most of life is not just “I decided this and then I did that.” It’s more like “I wanted to do thus and so, and I just happened to meet this or that person and then that led me to another this and that and that’s how I got to where I am today.
Life is a pond with stepping stones all around us. We start by jumping to the one within reach, and that leads us to the next and the next until we get somewhere or meet someone—or both.
Why does it happen this way? Here’s the part where you’ll need to create your own answer. Some say that this step-by-step process happens by coincidence. Others feel it’s their luck, or a predestination thing. I personally think you’re following your inner Chili Millie—moving ahead at the pace that’s most comfortable for you (sometimes needing a kick in the you-know-what).
By now you might be asking a very good question “So what?”
Kierkegaard explains that, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.” In other words, hindsight is 20/20.
Telling the stories of your life as not only great fun, it gives you the chance to revisit the various steps that brought you to your destiny. You can see the patterns, the victories and how you turned lemons into lemonade. It’s the best way to boost your self-appreciation, realize your brand of perseverance and feel grateful for the people who have supported you along the way.
Even better than telling your beautiful life story to your friends (which happens each day over coffee or a glass of wine), is to write it down. “And the word became flesh,” to expand on John 1:14. Think about it. The unique and beautiful steps of your life are worth memorializing—for you and for those who love you.
Contact Jan if you want help getting started. She’s got a path, an el camino, for you to get started today!