I might detail to you the months/days/hours/minutes I have left of grad school, but that would sound whiny Instead, I will simply
So, thanks to the encouragement of our friends Kacy and Mikey, we joined them in a 'small group' they were a part of through their church. It's basically a group of couples all in the same-ish life stage (we have 5 couples in our group) who meet once a week at someone's house and talk about stuff. :) Well, that's the simple definition.
But anyway, as part of the whole getting-to-know-you process, each person gets a chance to tell their story. So, literally, the story of their life, from start to present.
I don't know about you, but I have never had the occasion to actually sit down and tell someone all about myself - my entire life - in one sitting. Of course, it's not every little thing about yourself, since you can only go over the highlights in a roughly one-hour session, but still. It took me quite a while to actually write up my 'outline' (I did an outline so I wouldn't freeze when it came time to talk!).
Where do you start? What do you include? What's fluff and what has actually helped shape who you are? I was nervous to do it at first, but it was quite an enlightening exercise.
It's funny how when you condense your life down to the moments that really matter, patterns emerge, connections can be made, and you can actually learn a little something about yourself that you somehow never realized before.
I found myself typing out past events that seemed fairly trivial. I added the highs and lows of different times in my life. And then I read back through it all in order and realized how frequently I could connect my actions and attitudes later in life to my emotional reactions to events that happened in the past. Undoubtedly, other factors came into play as well, as years and forgetfulness intervened between events. Yet I could still draw connections, fragile though they may be, throughout the story.
I told (most) of my story to the group last night (before we ran out of time), and it is such a weird yet somehow extremely satisfying sensation to talk unabashedly about yourself for an hour straight. The best part? Everyone wants to hear you talk about yourself.
We all come from so many different places, both physically and emotionally, spiritually and experientially. Yet just as I was able to draw those tentative webs of connection within my own life, so too are we able to all find bits and pieces of connection within each others'.
Connecting to yourself and to others -- powerful stuff.