Friday, June 13, 2008

Everyone has a story.

Everyone has a story. What makes a story worth telling? Is a story more interesting if a lot of people hear it? Or do a lot of people listen to it because it's more interesting? It's hard to say.

Misery loves company, so it stands to reason that telling our stories will draw people toward us who have similar experiences. It is a way of bonding with each other. In my experience this is what often happens. 'Let me tell you what happened to me!' I mention as I walk into a party at a friends house. As I begin to tell my tale I am interrupted with the inevitable -- 'That is nothing compared to what happened to me!' My fellow party goer declares. I don't know whether to feel elated that her experience is worse than mine or deflated that she just took the wind right out of my sails and successfully refocused the attention on herself.

This has repeatedly happened to me. It causes me to wonder -- Is my story inferior? Am I not a good story teller? Or is it that I am just not a drama queen? I don't constantly need attention drawn to me. I am more of a problem solver than I am a maven of discombobulation. I don't thrive on chaos. I am the one that people come to when they are in need of equanimity; the sound voice amongst the bedlam that they seem to propel towards themselves. I am able to look at things and assess the problem and find a suitable solution.

Does this mean I am boring? In the deep recesses of my mind, sometimes that is my fear. I fear that I am blah compared to the person who swoops in the room amidst a swarm of turmoil. She has had the worst day, the biggest catastrophe, the most upheaval. How can I compete with that? When it comes down to it I am not in pity party competition with them, that is not my style.

This is why I say that it is the deepest corner of my mind that niggles and taunts me, telling me that to be me is to be humdrum, dull, uninteresting. Who wants to be any of those things? I know on some level that I am not a loser. It can be tough to perceive that though, when a more flamboyant personality it staring you in the face; it seems that everyone else would rather listen to her latest tale of woe.

Over the years it has bothered me less and less that I am often overshadowed by these types. I know that underneath all that pomp and circumstance is a little kid whose mom didn't pay enough attention her. Somehow she never grew beyond the disappointment that Dad didn't show up for the school play. It is a sad place to be stuck, so if it makes her feel better about herself to steal my thunder, then I will allow her. It is the best that I can do as I say a silent prayer that she will find her way out of her private angst and feelings of inadequacy. I hope that my putting aside my pride will help to bolster my sister in life.