I got a standing ovation this week. But it wasn’t for the grade I got on my math test or the paper I wrote for english. I got a standing ovation this week and it was for telling a story.
I stood in front of a group of 50 people and words came out of my mouth. I wasn’t sure how, because I always write a script before I give a speech. But I wore tall shoes, and I dressed really fancy, and I stood at a podium and I spoke. And somehow by the time all of the words had left my mouth I found the room on their feet applauding me.
I told a story of a normal girl who was oblivious to the world, an innocent girl that believed she had it all, and not a single thing could change that for her. I told a story of a girl whose life came crashing down quite literally and figuratively. I told a story of a girl who worked piece by piece to put the puzzle back together, only to realize her puzzle pieces had been cut in half and thrown all over the place. I told the story of a girl that searched to rebuild the perfect puzzle only to realize that would never happen, and instead she would have to gather the broken pieces she could find and build new ones along the way, not to match the old puzzle but to build a new one. I told a story of a girl who was just living life, and still is to the best she knows.
I didn’t get a standing ovation for my math grade because the only time I have ever been good at math was in Mrs. Hepp’s 6th grade math class, and that was years ago. I told a story.
I taught a group of 50 people this week about something I decided would become a thing: The Ripple Effect: The idea that you have the potential today to impact the rest of someones tomorrows.
I believe whole heartedly that the way we as humans act and view the world is entirely impacted and influenced by those around us. Those meaning the people we associate with but also those we don’t even take time to notice. The human presence has the possibility to impact in so many different ways, both negatively and positively. I believe you are impacting handfuls of stories everyday, and most of the time you do not even realize.
I have always been one that has been up for listening to a good story, I love reading memoirs, and find documentaries on human lives to be some of the most interesting films. But, what I didn’t realize was that this entire time I have been so busy indulging myself in others stories I was building and creating a story of my own. I didn’t realize that while others stories are important and necessary for us to surround ourselves with it is equally necessary for us to realize that our own story is of just as much importance.
I told a story this week and the audience didn’t care that I didn’t ace my math test or my english paper. I told a story and they were proud and pleased with the fact that in the midst of a tragedy I somehow found a few puzzle pieces along the way and put them back together and began to build something new.
The worst story I ever heard I watched unfold first hand, when someone believed their story wasn’t enough, and that nobody would listen, and so they cut it short. They ended it without realizing that it had only just begun.
Your story is all you have, and it is all yours, and you decide how it writes itself.
I told a story this week, and I will continue to write my story tomorrow, and the day after, and then I’ll probably tell a story again. Stories aren’t left to keep on shelves, they are meant to be shared so that we can learn, and grow, and find comfort, and reassurance in the fact that as lonely as our stories may feel sometimes they are not, they are just hidden.
A story can’t be heard unless it is shared.
So speak up, write your story, make it a good one, and when you find comfort in it, and when you feel lost in it, share it out loud for all to hear.