I recently saw a sticker, which reads, “live a great story.” Black letters on white background. Simple.

Live A Great Story.

A few days ago I received a message from one of my nearest and dearest, (a friend I found in high school, a sister, really. We’ve remained incredibly close despite the years and miles between then and now.)

As her eldest daughter’s graduation approached, she’d been working on an art piece to present to her girl on the big day. This piece would contain words of encouragement and wisdom from the people in her life, and she asked me to contribute something.

(Funny side note, I had started a similar project three years ago for my son’s graduation. I didn’t finish it. I still have everything to complete it, and several months ago decided I might try to add to it and give it to him for his 21st birthday. Sometimes, I’m a horrible procrastinator.)

So, I thought about what I wanted to write to her beautiful girl, who has a heart of gold, and a smile made of silver starshine.

I pondered and wrote. Wrote and pondered. Edited a bit. Pondered some more. And then sent her this:

Sweet Eleanor.
A friend of mine got a tattoo a few years ago which read, “I am the hero of this story.”
Life will sometimes punch you in the gut, slap you in the face, throw you to the ground.
It will also make you swoon, cry tears of more joy than you think you can handle, and swaddle you in precious love.
Days in the sun are beautiful, but there is also beauty in the melancholy days. Savoring every piece of life is what makes your story great.
Be your own hero, and live a great story, Ellie.

All these things are true. Life and loving will open you up, lay bare your insides, push and pull you, and leave you begging for mercy. Being human is both harsh and beautiful, tragic and wonderful. I believe this is what makes our stories great.

Cherish the good times, breathe through the hard times, sift through and find a balance between great joy and great sorrow.

I’m still learning how to do this.

As a writer and artist I know and appreciate that everything tells a story. And I am slowly getting more comfortable in the telling of mine, but it’s a process.

For me, the symmetry of my story is anchored in holding those I love close, inhaling the scent of each day, swimming through both grief and joy, and learning to slow down and enjoy simplicity. and I have finally found a sense of peace and?clarity in the magic of the everyday.