October 22, 2013

When You've Run Out of Stories

I often struggle when people ask me what I do. I wear lots of hats in life...freelance public relations consultant, social media strategist, blogger. But the part of what I do that I most deeply identify with is that of a storyteller.

To me, blogging and storytelling are one and the same. I love both equally. Lately, I haven't been posting to the blog as frequently as I had before. When someone asked me why, I said it was because I was going through a re-imagining phase...seeking new inspiration. That was kind of a lie. 

The truth is, the reason I haven't been blogging is because I was afraid I'd run out of stories. October rolled around and I thought about the typical October posts I could do. Pumpkin recipes, trips to the pumpkin patch, stories of Halloweens past. Been there, done that, crossed them off the list. 

So, this brought me to the conclusion that I'd told all the good stories and thus run out of stories to tell. 

As someone who really likes telling stories, this scared me. And depressed me a little too. 

The other morning, I was sitting on the patio drinking a cup of tea. And I found myself talking to God (as I so often do). 

What if I've run out of stories? 

And I heard so clearly in my heart these words: There are plenty of stories left to tell. Plus the really good ones warrant telling again and again. 

I immediately thought of my grandparents and all the stories they've told me through the years. The really good stories are the ones I ask to hear over and over. I know how they end, but I ask to hear them anyway. 

There are plenty of stories left to tell. 

As I let that sink in, I realized how silly I'd been to think I could run out of stories...as if there is a finite amount. There are plenty of stories left to tell...stories of people I haven't even met yet, and untold stories of people I've known all my life. And brand new stories of things that haven't even happened. We can tell them again and again, relishing our favorite parts, embellishing them as we see fit. And in each new telling, the stories shift and change. And illuminate things that were previously shadowed. 

Each day is a new opportunity. A new sunrise on a new chance. A clean sheet of paper on which to write a new story. 

Every person we meet has a story. They might never have the chance to tell it if we don't ask.