The Stories We Tell Ourselves



Sit around a table of mid-twenties' adults in any part of the country and you'll hear similar conversations. Between juggling bills, being proud of "big kid" purchases, seeing major life announcements on social media, and still finding our way, there's a common narrative.


At some point or another, we all had a different story of what life would be right now. The " I was supposed to be (insert milestone) by now. [Moved there] [Have a serious relationship] [Be at this level] [Accomplished that]. Even if the setting is right, the characters, story line, and plot are probably different.


At least mine is.


Best-selling authors, entertainers, entrepreneurs, all the greats share their stories of change. I can watch one TED talk and suddenly I have the fire to attempt climbing Mount Everest. However, I think we sometimes might put too much emphasis on crafting the story itself. We build up these supposed "One-size fits all" narratives in our head based on the realities around us.


The media we consume.

The stars we admire.

The books we've read.

The classic Friends crew.

The perfect Rom Com romance.

The lavish lifestyle of reality TV shows.

The list goes on.


We take bits and pieces of what we've seen our entire lives and try to scrapbook the " life we've always wanted". But IS it really the life we've always wanted? What exactly are we using to gauge what we want in life? A photo exhibit I once saw said "We tell ourselves stories in order to live". What stories are we telling ourselves to get through each day?


For years I was unfulfilled because I longed for my life to have those "movie moments". Constantly dreaming of having wine nights with a girl gang, yet never really opening myself up. Imagining what I would say sitting onstage for a panel at a conference, but never confident enough to speak up and put my ideas out there. Aspiring to have financial stability, but continuously diving into debt. Falling so deep into my hurt feelings, but never discussing them with people for resolutions.


Why?


Creating narratives in our head is a rush, but also a placeholder. We draft up possibilities of what could happen, because we don't want to face the realities in front of us. There's comfort in daydreaming. It often becomes a temporary safe space for us to satisfy our desires without sacrificing, facing fears, or experiencing consequences. Sure we can imagine what things could be like, but guess what?


We don't know how we feel about things, until we actually do them.


We all have pieces of our dream life up in our heads, and here are three things I can say to wrap this up:


1. You CAN dream and there is absolutely nothing wrong with imagining life in endless capacities; it just requires balance. You can be inspired, but blend your imagination with practicality.


2. Your life does not have to be like your favorite movie, personality, TV show, or otherwise. Take inventory of the people, environments, and opportunities around you to seize the most out of each day. Create your own space and use those figures as inspiration and not the mold to become a carbon-copy model.


3. Just because it didn't happen the way you thought it would, doesn't mean it's not happening the way you need it to. Take what you're experiencing right now and squeeze the lessons out of it. What is helping you while you're uncomfortable? What is growing old while you commit to change? Sometimes, we have to be where we are to realize more about ourselves.


Let's try to live a little less in our Story-Mode and enjoy the world around us in Live-Mode.


Sending love and light always. <3


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© 2020 by Shelby Wilburn