Toddler girl picking daffodils.
Whisperings in the Trees

Having A Purpose

I had a creative writing professor in college who had one rule for our class assignments. I have tried to abide by it but honestly, it is a tough one.

He stood at the head of the classroom, gazing out at our young faces and said, “Absolutely never, ever start any story with ‘I was born’”.

So many times, that’s exactly my first line.

I have to cross it out and start over.

I Am Here

Instead of being born once, I think, based on the fact that I’m getting older, that we are born every time we choose something new to learn. That’s what it’s like to be a human explorer. That’s what we are.

My granddaughter is a mighty adventurer at 16 months old. She has found every possible “don’t touch that” object wherever she is.  The grownups around her can guide and protect her but she is a born explorer. She is here. This is her adventure. Every pebble she picks up and licks with her tongue is something new to learn.

There’s going to be a bazillian-jillian new things to learn.

This is cause for celebration. She was born. She is here. It’s okay to start there.

Having a Purpose

What happens when we are here for many years?

In my lifetime, I have made so many changes that who I was once is no longer who I am now.  The inside me knew I was here but the outside me had no idea how to get inside me out the door. 

To get here now took courage, determination, stress, and pretty much every up and down roller coaster nauseating pile of experiences.  We don’t have the luxury of a lifetime of “don’t touch that” warnings to protect us.

We can stack up blocks and sort them into “I was a jerk” and “I kicked ass” piles. And knock down the block towers.

I recently came to understand that a good life is one where we are born, we’re here and we have a purpose. In fact, many of us thrive when we find one.

There are bazillilan-jillian purposes to choose from.  The best part? You can keep finding new ones.

I’ve been watching people I know doing new things. Some of them are thinking of new things.

That means they are exploring.

They’re open to adventures.

It means, to me, putting a pebble in your mouth if that helps you learn “yucky”. It could mean learning “no”.

It could mean finding the perfect pebble and keeping it.

When we grow older, it seems as though people don’t want us to try new things. I notice this more often these days.

I have a body that doesn’t respond to my every command. So what? I still have a list of things to learn how to do.

Being  born is how it starts, no matter what my professor said.

It’s your chapters that matter to your story.