Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Throughout my days and weeks I am blessed to have any number of people engage me in conversation. For whatever reason, I am the keeper of their secrets, their dreams, and their innermost fears and thoughts, even if I’ve just met them. It is something that I don’t understand, but I feel very privileged to have this “gift” of connecting.

What I have learned aside from having enormous compassion for the people who share with me, is that listening to all of these stories gives me a deep appreciation for what I have. At times I go through a life crisis; lack of faith, and uncertainty, but being a sounding board for people has allowed me the great pleasure of clarity.

Since I was a child I would be privy to my peers’ confessions, complaints about parents, and various other admissions. This allowed me to skip the all-too perfunctory rebellious stage of being a teenager. I was blessed to have the wisdom to listen without judgment yet steer the course of my life through the examples of others.

Being a young bride (I was married at 20 and with my love since 14) I had a certain amount of trepidation about the “odds being against us”. I worried that perhaps we actually would grow apart and our love would become a casualty of the youth we’d outgrown.

But, again, listening to friends fall in and out of love – sometimes in the same week – and lament relationships they had sabotaged through poor decisions, apathy, and, in some cases, cheating, cemented my fervor for my husband.

As my circle of friends widened enormously due to social networking and my career as a professional writer, I still find the intimate and frank discussions occurring with both close friends and new acquaintances alike. Now I think of these situations as “givens” like in proofs in geometry. There are some facts that just are; for me it’s that I am the beneficiary of confessions and life stories for scores of people.

That is still a much appreciated gift to me. It brings me so much clarity, compassion, ability to be objective, and opportunity to experience the world. I need not do everything I hear spoken to know how it would affect my life, how it would reverberate and whether it was worth it.

Many still believe the adage “the grass is greener on the other side.” I understand this bit of human nature and have not been immune from feeling this at times in my life. But, by amassing the experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and hopes of others in addition to my own, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my life – for me – is truly green.

That may sound conceited, “braggy”, or just plain rude, but it is not intended to be at all. My point is my life is green (good) for ME. The life I have constructed, worked hard for, invested time, money, love, patience, compromise, and myself into is the best life for me.

If we all good have the benefit of seeing our lives more objectively we might feel more contented. Money isn’t the answer to happiness; neither is being thinner or having more hair or whatever superficial trappings we believe we need to be “happy”. That’s a difficult concept to accept for many.

Over our time together I have written a lot about how my marriage is of utmost importance to me. Does that mean I don’t make mistakes, take him for granted, or lose my way? Of course not, I certainly do! What it does mean is that I try periodically to check on our progress, assess if we’ve grown stagnant, and call a sitter when we desperately need to reconnect and find “us”. Because, as I’ve heard countless others confess, I do not want to lose “us” to “them”. I want our shared grass to always be greener to us than another’s yard!

Whatever my role, purpose, or time on this planet, I hope to continue to serve as a sympathetic ear. I strive to live my best life while offering the best me I can to others. I believe truly successful people are the ones who connect daily with others. Who add a positive note to the world and elevate moods. By staying in touch with people and letting them lighten their loads I am keeping a balance.

So, that’s a part of my story. I’m the one who, if you were to meet me, would get your life story or your deepest darkest secret out of you within minutes. And not only would that be a great thing, it’s something that keeps me humming happily daily.

After all, it’s all about connecting.

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