the beginning

Two years ago, my life changed in ways I never saw coming. And it all started when I wrote my story.

I didn’t intend for the story to be about me. But someone asked if I wanted to take a stab at writing a fairy tale. I had never written creatively before; in fact, I had very little experience writing, outside of my journal or an academic setting, at all.

Most of my writing tends to be primarily personal, with the aim of writing the truest thing that is on my heart, in any given moment.

So when I set out to write a fairy tale, I guess the truest thing on my heart, at that point in time, happened to be the (far less than fairytale-esque) story I was already living.

Because I think that’s the most important reason behind creating these stories. At least, for me, that’s kind of the whole point. We get caught up in day to day living. Just trying to survive in whatever stormy or complacent life circumstances get thrown our way, that we lose sight of the bigger picture. The plot line with all its twists, crescendos, and arches. The story each of us has lived and is living in the moment.

So I wrote my story, about a reluctant princess who has a penchant for pranks. And, in that day and age, I was a real prankster. Mostly because I was the quiet, unsuspecting type, I was able to fool some real smart people, and one man, in particular, who had never been pranked before. But that is a tale for another blog post.

Obviously, the story didn’t exist solely around practical jokes. It ended up being a love story, as all fairy tales are, right? (Clue: no, actually, that’s a highly inaccurate stereotype.) But this was a love story in an atypical sense, in that it was the story in which the subject (aka me) discovered that feeling of home from within herself and thereby learned to create her own freedom as well as love herself, but only when she opened her eyes to the love that was already surrounding her.

I write all of this with the complete awareness of how white-light and spiritual-love-peace-yoga that very sentence sounds, when put into words. So I will leave you with this. Me talking about what happened, after looking at my own story through an alternate lens, is only going to go so far, because the story itself is an experience. And until it is felt, you will never truly understand.

I cannot tell you how many people I have written tales for, who afterward come to me with their eyes having grown just a bit wider, trying to put into words what the story has done for them. This is why I love to write these tales. And this is why I opt to spend so many days carving away at my computer. Why I go through weeks, if not months, of anxiety, agonizing over each and every tale I write. It isn’t so I can make money or feel good. It is so I can attempt to share that experience.

After I wrote my story, I went home, feeling as though I was floating. I opened my door and got my mail, and in it was news that an immensely stressful, time-intensive, financially and energetically draining situation had just been resolved. And my intuition regarding the whole dilemma had been right all along. And in that moment, I looked outside my window at the lush green of an east coast spring evening, flowers abloom and just a bit of that dewy, dusk glisten in the air, and realized that it was all going to be okay. No matter how far off track I had strayed, how stuck I felt in my current circumstance, no matter how many years of struggle I had gone through or had yet to come, it was all going to work out. Because that stuckness, as well as every moment spent hating myself and straying further and further off course, were all part of my story. Leading me to right here and then. And now.

It was also in that moment, that I told myself, “Sign me up, for fairy tale writing.” I think I even raised my hand, like the over eager student I never was in the classroom. And I have not looked  back since. Because if I can share the experience of the power of your own story, with just one other person, whatever that looks like for him or her, it’s worth every bit of heartbreak, struggle, and torment I experience along the way. And trust me, there has been plenty of each of these, and more, along the way. Some self-driven, some not. But again, these are more stories for another day.

The other surprising side effect, of writing my own story? The knawing recognition that just as I am a living, breathing, bundle of cells, so too is my tale. Ever shape-shifting and moving with time. And that just as I can never quite grasp the fullness of my being, so too the story offers a reflection point, shimmery snapshot of life in this moment, and then again in this one. And I, just along for the ride of all of these moments, strung together, one by one. Breath by breath. One word at a time.

Scribbles,

Bretton