Background: There is incredible power in telling our own stories. One of the most influential TED talks I have watched is the Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Adichie. She talks about what it was like to constantly be placed in the “single story” of a person from Africa. She speaks about how having these single stories for a huge (in some cases enormous) groups of people is the root of many prejudices today. So what do we do with the single story? We make it into a chorus of harmonies. We add our own unique voice one by one by one.
I was recently deeply inspired by a woman who told her own story from beginning to end in front of a large group of people. Almost each line began with “I am”. It was powerful. The most inspiring of it all was that while she came from an incredibly difficult upbringing – that was not where the emotion of her voice really came out. Where she really connected with the words, were the words of today. “I am someone who is going to be a grandmother”. “I am someone who, after being turned away from my family, has found a home among friends.” And the story went on: “I am.” “I am”. “I am”.
It inspired me to write my own “I am” story and perhaps it may inspire you to write one too. This story will begin with more recent times than my early beginnings, as that is a larger effort for another day.
I am someone who connects deeply with the natural environment – with our lakes and trees; sun and sky.
I am someone who values true friendship beyond any song I could sing or words I could write.
I am someone who questions and seeks.
I am someone who learns to teach and teaches to learn.
I am someone who is known to have an “old soul”.
I am someone who contributes with her heart and mind. There are times when I get on a roll; times I need to slow down and unfold.
I am someone who feels more deeply than the average Joe. I feel cascading joys and tumbling lows; the heights of the highs and the depths of sorrow. It can take a toll.
I am someone who finds solace in the creative arts of song and poetry. They are my voice when day to day language just doesn’t do it for me.
I am someone who has been betrayed and heartbroken.
I am someone who will not let another’s mistakes change the courageous steps I will take.
I am someone who knows what it is to heal the heart with support, love and art.
I am someone who is loved, honored, and respected. For this I am and forever will be deeply grateful to be truly connected.
I am someone who has met a man who is remarkably gentle and kind, a man who creates a sense of “home” as soon as he’s by my side.
I am a woman who is making her way as an entrepreneur in higher education and learns every single day.
I am someone who knows now more than ever – loved ones in my life are worth staying for, no matter the promotion, raise or other superficial decors.
I am someone who hopes in time to leave a legacy of words, lyrics and rhymes that may inspire others to more fully and deeply live their lives.
I am someone.
We are all someone.