Earlier this year, I took part in a challenge organized by Stephanie Dethlefs. This was a challenge on Instagram, and it was about making ordinary stories extraordinary. Like me, Stephanie believes that everyone has stories to tell, and encourages people to tell them. I took on this 10 day challenge with gusto, and one of the biggest lessons I learned from doing it – always read the instructions! Somehow I missed that it was going to be on Instagram – a platform which I never really understood, and having spent a few weeks posting on it – I now understand it even less. I suppose that because it is a mostly visual platform, having to find a photo to pair with each story got annoying after day 2. I usually use my own photos for these things, since I feel as if that is part of the fun. Anyway – I really enjoyed the challenge, and posted a number of stories on there, some of which I have never shared here. Since I have quite a few friends who are not on Instagram, I am sharing a couple of the stories below – I hope you enjoy them!! And I encourage you to share a story in the comments below. We all have extraordinary stories, and I definitely believe that sharing stories is a great way to connect.
And check out Stephanie here on her website or follow her on Instagram @stephanie_dethlefs
Oh!! And you can check me out on @everydayfunversations if you want to follow me on there, although I can only promise sporadic posts.
A story of heartbreak…
Today's prompt is to tell a story of a heartbreak. The story that came to mind was one about a guy I was semi dating at the age of 19 just before I went off to university. He was cute and charming and he liked me - something which I hadn't experienced before meeting him. He was the first guy to send me flowers. We vowed to stay in touch after I moved halfway around the world to study. I sent him several letters but got none back. It turns out there was someone with his name (first and last) living a few houses down on his street and perhaps he was getting my letters. Long heartfelt letters meant for the eyes of that cute boy. We lost touch and he married a wonderful lady and is happy as can be up to this day.
In hindsight I know that story had a happy ending for him. And mine is still being written... And so far it's going pretty well. Tell me about a time you went through a heartbreak.
A story about someone I lost
We lost my dad when I was 25 - over 15 years ago. It was a loss that I felt pretty hard as I had grown up with him alone, since my mother passed away when I was a small child. Loss is a strange process. I went about my daily routine, assuming that at some point the grief would go away and I would feel "recovered". ..
I suppose the acute grief went away to a certain extent - I no longer cried often and didn't feel like my heart plummeted anytime someone mentioned his name. But recovery is different. ..
I never knew that I would continue to miss him in different ways as life progressed. That I would crave his advice when my sisters and I started thinking about properties. That I would miss his wisdom when I had big decisions to make in work or life. That I would mourn him afresh when my nephew was born - my dad would have loved his mischievous laugh and his love for tricks and play, and sometimes I look at my nephew and see my dad's facial expression mapped out. And sometimes, I go to the beach and I think about the time we spent there swimming, and singing at the top of our voices. ..
Today I would say that the grief I feel for him has changed over the years as I have changed, but it is still there and if I don't catch myself, I still shed a tear if I hear his favourite song, for a light gone out too soon. ..
I don't know if we ever stop grieving for those we lose, but instead it becomes a feeling that we learn to live with, one that gives us perspective when things go awry, and heightens our love for those who grieve with us.
And lastly – a childhood memory that sparked a life lesson!
I spent the better part of my teen years singing Alto/tenor in a trio in churches around Barbados. We were the Budlong Harmonious Trio. My favorite song to sing was Oh Happy Day. It taught me that individual voices matter and that people could sing different tunes and still work together to create beautiful music. I always remember that when I think that my voice or opinion isn't big enough to make a change.
What childhood memory sparks a life lesson for you?
And since I was forced to pair random photos with stories over on Instagram – I decided to do that here!! I am attaching a photo that I took several years ago – I love photographing flowers!! Remember you can write one of your stories below in the comments!!
And as always, I send you big love from a small island.