“Story time” is by far my favourite time. And, “stories” are by far my most prized possessions.
The word itself holds so many meanings and so much meaning at the same time.
Stories have molded me, have molded us all.
The ones we’ve been told.
The ones we’ve read.
The ones we’ve written.
And, the ones we’ve experienced.
The ones we’ve experienced most of all.
My life has been a pursuit of these stories above all.
My desire to live the stories I would one day look back on has been a driving force for me. And the fear of not having stories to tell has pushed me to live moments that I otherwise may not have sought out or been open to.
I have a distinct memory of being 14, studying my little butt off, and being afraid that I would look back one day and not have any stories to tell. That I would look back and not regret the dumb things I did, but rather that I didn’t do any dumb things at all. And, let me tell you, I’ve done some dumb things since then.
“I wanted stories to tell.” — COREY RICH
While I may have lived a time in regret of those choices, I know for a fact that I would have regretted not having taken those risks more, I would have regretted not knowing what I know now.
I wanted to look back and know that I had really experienced life, not just studied it. That I had explored extremes. That I really knew who I was because I had tried on different versions of myself, had really lived as them until I found the one that suited me best.
How are you really suppose to know otherwise?
That I had loved the journey, been in the experience…not just read about them.
And, that is why I’ve lived my life in a constant flow of seeking the “why not” moments, of challenging my boundaries, of living the stories I wanted to tell. The stories (I now know) I wanted to write.
Of making big mistakes and learning big lessons. Of going on big adventures. Of taking big chances. Of doing the scary thing. Of shifting. Of growth.
“…your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while you’re still here.”– LIZ GILBERT
And I am so so grateful I have. Because it is those experiences and my memories of those moments that serve as my greatest influences, my greatest inspirations.
Even sitting in my office today, I am brought back to them, transported back.
That ukulele hanging on the wall: Brings me back to sunshine and riding 3 people on a motorbike to a small music store in Indonesia. It brings me back to meeting Eddie Vedder in Boston.
That extra shabby looking book: Brings me back to cozy nights with my best friend eating instant noodles and watching cheezy movies in a cabin called Shooting Star in Donegal, Ireland.
That picture of my sister and I: Brings me back to laughs, snowfalls, and awkward photography sessions. It always brings me back to a version of myself I didn’t like very much but learned so much from.
Each a time-capsule of a moment, of a feeling, of an adventure, of a different version of me, of a different time.
Those experiences, those moments lived (the good, the bad, the ugly), are my most valuable possessions. It’s through them that I’ve learnt the lessons, that I discovered me (little by little), that I learnt the real power of writing your own story, of creating your life.
But, most of all I learnt the power of sharing your story with others. Of hearing their stories in return. Of creating them together.
It is a powerful thing to hear someone share a moment, to relay a lesson, and to see them go back to that time as they tell it. To see them be transported back to the feeling of a moment.
So, while there are many ways to be inspired and to learn, to experience is by far the most powerful for me.
Whether it’s through travel, new obstacles to tackle, new connections, new memories, a story will always be my greatest source of inspiration.
Maybe yours too.
So, go out and create them.
Don’t wait for them to come to you.
Do something you’ve never done, meet new people, push yourself in new ways, celebrate yourself in new ways.
Those experiences make space for inspiration, they create it.
They open your eyes to new things, they let you in on things you didn’t know before or didn’t understand. They enlighten you.
So choose to see every moment as an opportunity to cultivate inspiration, to create an adventure (whether it be in your mind, heart, or physical space). Be open, excited, and curious.
Go out and seek the magic that the world has to offer, make space for it. Because that magic will translate into the stories you tell. Into how you tell them. Into who is touched by them.
And, while you’re at it, explore the ones you’ve already collected. You are chock full of a lifetime of experiences and stories to share.
We want to hear them. We want to be inspired by them in return.
Life is yours to create, so write the story of your damn dreams.
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