jeffrey bundonis sunrisePhoto credit: Jeffrey Bundonis

Reality. We have to live in this world if we want to live. As much as we would like our lives to be a fairyland to play in, reality never goes away. You don’t get to turn your back on the adulting. And it is that very thing – the drama we try to avoid – that defines us. It is our story.

And every good writer (and reader) knows that there is NO story without drama and conflict and the emotions that drive the characters through that story.

I was recently asked, “What would your story look like if….”

We do get to write our own story. God, thankfully, has given us the pen to make our own choices at every turn. Some of the conflicts thrown at us are not of our choosing, some we create all by ourselves. But we always have the choice as to how we respond.

My story. These last two years, I have had plenty of conflict – I sat at the bedside of someone I loved very deeply as he left this story (most beautiful experience of my life). I have lost my job (three of them actually). I lost my home, the only place I ever felt ‘home.’ I’ve been brought (literally) to my knees with health issues. I’ve stood by the side of my best friend as she battled cancer and more emergency hospitalizations than I can count. I’ve stepped into that role most middle-aged people encounter – taking care of my elderly parents (a job I am happy to do…a chance to give back to them all they have done for me).

My story. And I’m thankful for it. Everyone out there has a similar story – it’s called real life, reality.

And I’ve only run a little bit. Hid my head in the sand and wished all of the drama away. But, again, we don’t get to do that. Run. Hide. Make it all go away. Because it is life and we are blessed to have the chance to live it. I remind myself that every day.

We have the choice to meet every conflict as just another wave in the ocean, just another notch on the plot chart. Find your people. The ones that hold you up when you need holding up, the ones that don’t shy away from riding those waves with you.

I know who my people are and thank God for them – my family, my closest friends – those who don’t hesitate to kick me in the ass when I need to get moving or to hold me close and let me cry it out.

I share this with you for two reasons.

First, thank you to all of those who are part of my story – ALL of my story, every conflict, every rough wave, every glorious adventure.

Second, I want you all to know that you are not alone. If you are in the midst of chaos and your world is askew, thank God. Because it means you are living, you are alive.

So, I am off to greet another day (no sunrise today, but I’ll share this beautiful photo taken yesterday that I was blessed to be a part of – he caught me ‘pondering’ – love it!).

Have a blessed and wonderful day. Find your people and smile.

If you don’t like the way your story is playing out, grab a pen and rewrite it.