Saturday, June 6, 2009

Everyone Has a Story

My first job freelancing for a newspaper was awesome. I had to turn in two features a month. They were to showcase unique people in the community. Well, eventually my nineteen year old mind stuttered to a stop because I didn' t know how to find these "unique" people.

So I asked my editor.

I don't remember his precise words, but I got the gist and it opened my eyes.

See, in high school I didn't see people. I didn't hear them. (Okay, unless it was a hot guy. LOL) My mind and my nose was always in a book. Every day I lived in a different world and only visited this one long enough to do my chores or my homework. I had minimal curiosity for the person next to me.

Not so anymore. Because now I realize everyone has a story. My editor taught me that. People don't think they're special. I would ask around and almost everyone didn't think they were interesting enough for a three hundred fifty word feature.

But they were worthy. They were unique and special and they had a story.

Just like you.

So if I asked you about your life, about a special hobby, talent or interest, what would you tell me?

26 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oooh...this is fun! :)

Let's see. I was a marching band geek my entire time in high school. ( I played the flag and rifle. LOL!) I continued my geekiness into college where I majored in pharmacy.

Met my hubby-to-be on a blind date. (His mom knew my aunt)

As soon we got married we moved up to the Boston area--where we became and STILL are Red Sox fans!

I'm terrible at board games but can whip anyone's butt in 500 Rummy. :)

I love to cook (I'm pretty good, too!) and am ALWAYS on the hunt to try a new recipe. :)

I love to read and write (duh) but also love God. I LOVE teaching Sunday school and Children's church and even VBS in my church. And I'm also a board member and treasurer for Straight Ahead Ministries--a missionary organization in Russia.

Oh, and one of these days I hope to add "great golfer" to my list of talents. LOL!

sherrinda said...

This IS fun! Jennifer, I was a flag girl toooo!

Let's see. I have an odd name that was a compromise. Mom liked Sherry and Dad liked Linda so they finally stuck it together to make Sherrinda. Linda means pretty and Sherry is a form of princess of God, so now I say my name means Pretty Princess! lolol...it makes me laugh.

I was a gauwky, skinny teen that was unfortunate enough to have scoliosis and wear a metal back brace. Think Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles and yep, you got ME! Awkward!!!!

I too, was a band geek, flag girl, and band sweetheart.

I moved to Houston at 17 to go to a Bible School, got a dozen roses 2 weeks later on my 18th birthday from my "hubby to be", then got married at 19, and had the first of 4 children at 20.

I'm a preacher's wife, I work in an elementary school, and I am a blog addict. I am writing my first book, a medieval romance.

My family laughs at me when I run (so I NEVER run), they laugh when I dance (I dance anyway!!!), and they laugh when I try to be funny (they just think I'm weird). We laugh alot in my family...which I love.

'Nuff about me!

Jessica said...

LOL Jennifer! So you're a woman of varied interests who enjoys artistic things!!! LOL What a great comment and so interesting. So you know, besides God, writing and reading, we have nothing in common. I wasn't involved in much at school. That is the coolest thing about the blind date! How fun. :-)
Thanks so much for commenting. I love learning more about you guys.

Jessica said...

Ahhh, so that's how you got your name. Pretty neat. And funny that you and Jennifer have some high school stuff in common. Maybe someday you two will meet... :-)

No back brace for me, but I was also a tall, awkward, skinny teen with braces. And headgear at night! LOL

Sweet story about you and your hubby!

Marybeth Poppins said...

Oh dear...there is not enough space in one blog to write about my story!!! BUT it is tons of fun to read about everyone elses ;)

Maybe if I can find a way to condense it, I'll come back!

Jessica said...

Condense away! :-) I'm sure it'll be fun reading, just based on how upbeat your blog is.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Jessica,

This is a fun blog. I agree. I'm always interested in other people's stories. I once interviewed an old man for a newspaper article- he repaired scales...a dying art. He had fabulous stories about the great depression and such. Then he traveled from farm to farm or business to business. Whenever they called him, he would go with his tool kit.

Cheers! Nance

Jessica said...

Wow, Nancy. That is a really neat story. I would've loved to interview that guy. Lucky you. :-)

Makita Jazzqueen said...

It is fun! =)
Nice job you got!

I love writing about people, specially people I love, and writing about me too... :S So here it goes:

I'm 15, studying Jazz Dance, and the teacher training for it, juggling it with school, reading as much as I can in this beautiful foreing language I'm writing in. I'd love to become an English teacher and a writer, although it's much harder than it seems... And right now I'm trying to find a black coat that suits me... Not so easy in this city.

Cool blog! Check out mine:
http://jazzqueen.blogspot.com
http://maryeastmacott.blogspot.com
http://everyday--stuff.blogspot.com

Proverbs 27:19 said...

I passionately enjoy cooking. I am more interested in the creating part rather than how it turns out.

I like to read books at least three times because I usually miss something the first time and I learn different approaches to the same sentence.

I like artistic photography. Traditional is not for me, I like for pictures to tell a story.

I thrive on change. We have to move furniture about every 8-10 months. One time, we even switched all the bedrooms around! We ended up in the guest room, our room became the play room, kids' room became guest room!

smooches,
Larie

Deb Shucka said...

One of the biggest pleasures in life is learning other people's stories. I've never once been not surprised at the inner lives of the people I take the time to get to know.

If you asked, I would probably talk to you about my passion for things with wings.

anita said...

Jessie, AWESOME post today! You have such interesting bloggers!

Well, I don't think at this point there's much about me you don't know. Heh. So, I'll just leave room for everyone else's stories.

:-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I love this post! Hey, Sherrinda, I wondered how you got your name - great story. :)

Growing up, I felt like the original Ugly Duckling. I guess I was what they call a late bloomer.

I met hubby on e.harmony.com. Boy, did they ever do a great job for us! He was an awesome husband.

I teach Sign Language specials to a group of women in my church. At present, our main focus is Christmas and Resurrection Day. I also do an occasional solo.

Currently, I'm writing a suspense novel set in 2025. No, this is not about aliens, but Christians facing some difficult circumstances in post-Christian America.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica said...

Hi Makita,
Thanks so much for stopping by! Wow, fifteen? You've got a lot going on and great goals for your life. :-) Awesome.

Jessica said...

Hi Larie,
Wow, three times??? That's amazing. :-) So, can I come to your house for food? 'Cause I hate to cook. LOL
Funny about your furniture! And fun for your kids, to have a new room every few months. Thanks for stopping by!

Jessica said...

LOL Deb. I think I might've got that from your blog. :-) Heeeheee.

Jessica said...

LOL Anita! You stinker. I'm sure there's something... LOL

Jessica said...

Susan,
First, I love your plot! I've thought of writing something like that, but I'm not creative enough. Sounds so good!
And you met your hubby on the internet!!! Wow! Another blogger I know met hers that way too. I feel you on the Ugly Duckling. I felt the same way, and I was an extremely late bloomer.
Thank you so much for sharing! I knew you did sign language and think that's so cool.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I lied a lot when I was a little kid. Now I realize it was because I wanted to tell a "more exciting" story. (Reality was too boring).

I started dancing at eight. I wanted to physically tell a story through body and song. (I think I had stopped telling lies at this point).

I met my first love at 12. He was 15. He gave me enough experiences, drama, and heartbreak to write poems, journals, etc. (We're still great friends)

At 16, after a late night car accident, I held a guy who loved me so much I assumed he'd always be there, while he bled to death. I still love him, and he appears in and inspires the most beautiful parts of my writing.

At 19 I moved from MD to CO for no other reason except that the mountains called to me so I listened.

At 21 my first boyfriend and I tumbled into love again, then we fell to pieces together while watching the towers crumble on 9-11. I moved back to MD, he moved on, and then...so did I.

At 24 I packed everything I owned in my SUV (including my dog) and moved to FL. I wanted a life of sunsets over the gulf, and for five years now that's what I've had.

This past winter, on Dec 21st, my characters busted through my lonely home like a giant Mack truck. In two months I wrote over 150k words of their story. My Creative Writing teacher was right, "someday I was going to write a book."

And now that I've finished one, I can't stop. There's three more in the works.

Ending still to come.

Makita Jazzqueen said...

Hey! Thnks for the comment...

But I'm not from Venezuela, I'm from Argentina... = ) I've been there though, visiting a friend, and they had cool cheese snacks. =)

Marybeth Poppins said...

I like cheese!

Ok...here's my one small shot...try to keep up ;)

I'm a 28 year old stuck in the life of a 40 yr old, but I LOOK LIKE a 15 year old!

After a series of very poor decisions, I spend my days attempting to make up for every one of them.

I love music...almost as much as writing, if not slightly more. I could sing all day. In fact I even spent a short time as a Karaoke DJ. I also ALMOST tried out for American Idol once, but didn't have the money, nor the guts to do it.

I have three beautiful children who keep me going. I also love writing and dreaming. Anything to take my mind off the impossible life I'm living.

(So how did I do???)

Pen Pen said...

...okay. confession time...I was painfully shy when my family moved when I was 11. I was incredibly unhappy and so sad to leave my friends that I didn't get to know anyone. I was depressed because I didn't have friends, but I made no attempt to make them. My first day of the next school year, my dad said I should bring some cupcakes and people would thank me-that would start a conversation. He was right, and cupcakes-along with other sweets have been a bright spot in my life ever since :)

But- I think one of the most interesting parts of my life has been learning about my dad's life. His dad dies when he was 3- his mom of a heart attack in front of him at 15, and his 5 brothers and sisters all died in strange ways through his early life-He traveled around with a true life "gypsy" family in Louisiana until he went into the army at 18-He was in Vietnam for 3 years as a special forces army ranger. I stumbled upon some pages when I was about 8 that went into a couple of his experiences-I learned later that he had written them to let them out-They are still difficult for me to read--I've never finished reading them, but I go to sit down with him and have him recount an experience that I put into my book- I am very proud of that, and I could tell that it meant so much to him. He's had a few other experiences that I would mention, but my comment is already probably like reading 'Moby Dick'! He is all heart and he's shaped so much of me. He read to me every night growing up and encouraged my writing. I don't know anyone else who has had such an amazing dad(except my sis)-I even feel a little guilty that I got such a gem...That type of parent is something that probably nobody ever really deserves.
I've been in a relationship with the same guy for 8 years and love him as much as I did the first day I met him.
My older sister has ADD- tho her IQ is 68-painfully close to the lower end of normal. It's almost worse that way- severely disabled people aren't aware of their own frustrations and differences, but she is. It feels cruel to me.
Last- I have a strange phenomenon in my life--I always seem to look at the clock when it's 3:11--happens ALL the time. -worries me that it's the day I'll die or something....

Jessica said...

Hi Karen,
Wow, what a story. I'm so sorry about that car accident. :-( What a beautiful comment though. I hope you're enjoying the sunsets.

Jessica said...

LOL Makita! Sorry about that. ;-) I'd read your post the night before and came back the next morning to make a comment. So much for my memory. Snort!

Jessica said...

MaryBeth,
I love cheese too! I eat it on everything. Yum!
Three kids, I've got that too. Sorry you're trying to make up for bad choices. Funny how those buggers follow us around. grrr...

Jessica said...

Hi Pen Pen,
That's so funny. We're reverse. I was painfully shy too (when we moved), but no one suggested cupcakes so I found books instead and remained in my little bubble.
So that's why you like cupcakes. Interesting....
And about your dad, that is an amazing and very sad story. Yet triumphant, because it sounds like he used his experiences to make himself a better person. Never feel bad that you have a wonderful dad. Trust me. No dad is better than a bad dad. But a good father, it's worth so much. You're right to call him a gem. :-)