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     Everyone loves a good story.  It is evident in every aspect of our lives.  Whether we are perusing the gossip magazines, hanging around the water cooler, Facebook stalking, watching a movie, or reading a book… we are in search of the “next best story”.  The art of storytelling has been around since the beginning of time.  Cavemen drew on walls, Gilgamesh carved on the 11th tablet, Homer shared the Illiad and Odyssey around a fire, the Egyptians created papyrus to document the written word, and the list goes on and on throughout history.  

     When was the last time you stopped to think about YOUR story?  

    The hardest subject I have ever written about was myself. While in graduate school I had a professor assign a 500 word essay entitled, Who Am I.  One would think that an essay about oneself would be simple.  Especially when a 1 page essay that requires no research followed many 10 to 20 page research papers I had grown accustomed to..  

     Until that moment I had always prided myself on my go-get-it attitude.  I thought I knew myself.  Whenever asked to describe myself, I would simply reply with something along the line of, “I am an intelligent, kind, goal-oriented, dedicated, creative wife and mother who loves her family, a good challenge, traveling the world, and getting lost in a book.”   I figured I would just elaborate on that.  Boy was I MISTAKEN.  

     It became frighteningly obvious, frighteningly quickly, that I was at a loss.  My “token statement” was like a Taco Bell Taco… the taco clearly has lettuce, cheese, and some type of a meat..Unfortunately for them, the FDA no longer allows them to call their “just add water meat”, ground beef.  

     Where was I going to begin the essay and where would I end it?  While sitting in front of the computer I contemplated about who he wanted me write about.  Did he just want to know the person I was that specific day or the person I was yesterday.  Did he want to know the roles I played on a daily basis… daughter, sister, niece, cousin, mother, wife, friend, co-worker, etc.

     AND then it hit me!  I needed to tell my story not reiterate my “token statement”.  The essay was about where I had been, how did I get to his class (not literally), and where was I going.  So I wrote the Cliff Notes version.  

     Like everyone, my story is made up of hundreds of chapters.  Things happen every day and my story is constantly changing.  The quote, “The only thing constant is change” sums up life in general.  

     Once I completed my 500 word essay (well actually 628 word essay), I realized the point of the assignment.  He didn’t want to know who I was, he wanted ME to know who I was.  How could we be effective therapists if we didn’t take the time to get to know ourselves?  

So I ask again...

           When was the last time you stopped to think about YOUR story?  

What's your story?

Olive Branch Blogging

Cathy Marie StokesMS, NCC, LMHC

Call TODAY!  (850) 583 - 0584

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