Where do we even begin to tell our stories? Some parts and pieces of our lives are safeguarded in the past while others are relegated as afterthoughts on a nightstand. We tell ourselves as we organize and categorize them that there will be a point to all of this, that understanding will come in time.
I rolled up my Live a Great Story flag into my carry-on bag for my flight to the beach. I had ordered a flag back in July after countless advertisements for it continually popped up on my Facebook feed. I think I clicked on the ad one time, and we became philosophical friends until I brought one home for good.
I flew down for a week at the beach to visit with my friend Jodi and her family. Jodi and I always have important topics and questions about life we want to solve as we take many long walks up and down the beach. Talks beside the ocean are different. Any problems or challenges I am facing fade in the beauty and expanse of the ocean while the sounds of the waves whisper answers as I quietly sit watching the tide.
Up and down the beach Jodi and I journeyed, talking about growing older, the body aches we both feel more and more, the challenges about living apart from family, the feeling of always having something we have to do, and the struggles of not only understanding other people but understanding ourselves.
Every day we walked, we ended up at what we call "the point," a beautiful stone structure created to help prevent beach erosion. A couple of times we went beyond our destination into a more secluded cove where there were fewer people walking. The conversation about life's troubles tended to end there. The serenity of the cove offered the same calmness to two people weary from life's walk.
One day, I told Jodi that I wanted to take my pictures with the Live a Great Story flag here. We unraveled it, and Jodi began to take pictures of my attempting to hold the flag in front of me. The unobstructed ocean breeze would have none of that as it blew the flag around my body, over my head, and down the beach. As Jodi and I often do, we laughed at the absurdity of what we were trying to do: take a perfect picture at a time when nothing is perfect.
Living a great story does not mean living one which is free of failure or regret nor does it mean living one which is completely full of exciting highlight reels and success. Living a great story is embracing the wind when it blows you off course or when it leads you to a place of peace. Living a great story is walking a path, whether it be on a smooth sandy beach or a rocky mountain path, with a sense of purpose and a quest for understanding.
We can put parts and pieces in the past, where we treasure them as moments that never will return. We can place these parts and pieces nearby until deciding what they all mean in the ever-changing story of our lives. The most important thing is to live our story and appreciate the unexpected random nature of it all.
Thanks for all the great pictures, Bestie.