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It’s in the Story

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I have been thinking a lot lately about the story part of our lives.

I use New York City as an illustration often because, for me, that city was more than just a place to live; it was life lessons as abundant as deli bagels. (Point being: I enjoyed a hearty amount of both during my time there.) (: So, as to why the story matters. There was a time in my journey of moving when it wasn’t all Frank Sinatra and Sex in the City. A few weeks before I got the job offer, I was really restless with the waiting process. I had polished my resume, compiled my portfolio, applied to every job I came across, and could visualize my life in the city more clearly than my life as it was… And yet – there was still. no. offer.  And so I was forced to wait.

And that’s when it hit me: this is part of the story. Humans love stories; we crave them. There’s no story in a movie without plot twists; there’s no story in a life that unfolds exactly as one would expect; there’s no story in someone who gets everything she ever wanted the moment she wanted it. What’s more interesting: the inner city student who fought poverty and prejudice to gain acceptance at an Ivy League school — or the wealthy, connected student who did? The musician who signed a record deal the first time they got on stage and became overnight packaged success — or the songwriter who endured years of dimly lit bars and scraped by until, at last, he got his big break?

What I had to accept about NYC is that the wait is part of the story. The days spent wanting it, the effort put in to every application, the nights spent dreaming of studio walk-ups and Manhattan skyrises… That was building the story. That was building the overwhelming gratitude I felt sitting on the other end of phone line when the job offer finally came through. That was building my tenacity to appreciate a 300-square foot studio walk-up, even when bedbugs would overtake it in a matter of days. That was building the journey I look back on now, wanting nothing to have been different about it. A story isn’t just its ending; it’s all the pages leading up to it that are there for a reason.

And so I’ve been trying to apply that to other areas of my life lately. To relationships for example, when my sister says, mostly seriously, that I ought to write a separate blog cataloging all of my funny dating stories. To mornings at the gym that feel like lost sleep but are moving me closer to my health and fitness goals. To nights spent typing into a computer that are turning me into the kind of writer that I want to be. And hopefully you can do the same, for whatever chapter your story lands you in right now. I truly believe that, even when it feels like things aren’t unfolding as they ought to, they’re part of the bigger narrative. And they’re the things we’ll look back on one day that will move us, entertain us, and strengthen us for the pages ahead — and make the rest of the story all make sense.

Happy writing…

P.S. Related: On appreciating the journey. Being thankful for inconveniences.
And more NYC stories.

{Photo via: Lívia Cristina via Compfight cc}

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Vickie September 17, 2014, 10:44 am

    This is such an inspiring story you have told. It is so true that our past experiences are what makes our lives more interesting, and we can truly appreciate more experiences when they come our way.
    I found your blog a few months ago and really enjoy it! So glad to have found a positive blog! Wishing continued success to you!

    • Jessica September 17, 2014, 5:07 pm

      Thank you Vickie! There’s nothing bloggers love more than hearing from readers who’ve stumbled across their site. Thank you for reading and for sharing your kind words! Proud to be in the blogosphere with you (:

  • JoAnne September 17, 2014, 11:39 am

    Jess, thanks for this reminder that waiting is a part of the process. It’s certainly not easy (I’m in the middle of a waiting doldrums right now), but important to remember that lessons are waiting to be learned here and now in this stage too.

    • Jessica September 17, 2014, 5:10 pm

      Ah, I’m so glad it offered some hope! It’s been a little comfort to me to look at it that way… if we’re gonna have to wait, might as well look at it as part of the adventure that’s unfolding. xo Jo!

  • Ashley L. September 17, 2014, 4:51 pm

    So. Beautiful. I love you lady and you never cease to inspire! Your story is beautiful! This post especially touched and spoke to me xoxo

    • Jessica September 17, 2014, 5:13 pm

      Ah I love you! You make me smile every day! I was actually thinking about our wine convo last week when writing part of it. The waiting is the hard part, but it’s there for a reason, and I trust it for our stories. Especially yours! xo

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