I feel every minute of my story – from the introduction to being a survivor to how love saves to wholeness to the conclusion. I feel it. I have never not felt it.

I was a reluctant storyteller. I wanted to put a lot of distance between myself and what happened. For a while I was known as the girl from the car accident and I didn’t like my newly acquired fame as insignificant as it was. Enduring a year of starting over each day and to have people know you around town as that girl were suffocating. I never wanted to be known as someone that was devastated. Never.

So, I was reluctant for a long time. Not because I hated talking about it. Not because I wanted to pretend like it never happened. It wasn’t like that at all. Surgeries, physiotherapy, and 50 billion appointments later I was tired. It was in front of me all the time. I needed to live my life.

My life. It was mine for better or for worse. I was going to do whatever it took to establish some normalcy and I was going to cross any ocean to have joy again. I knew joy and I wanted it back. Lucky me – joy found me.

Time gave me the distance I craved. Not long after my daughter was born my story – this chapter of my life anyway – was tapping me on the shoulder. God was whispering, it’s time. Ready or not I was coming out of hiding.

A good friend of mine asked me to share my story to a crowd of two thousand raising money for a cause near and dear to my heart. I had five minutes and it was an incredible five minutes. Five minutes I’ll never forget.

It was the trigger to a lot of storytelling. It’s more than storytelling though. I share my story. When I’m up there I am sharing my life and what happened and what I learned and how to fight with whomever is listening.

I haven’t been doing it as often lately. In fact it has been very quiet for the last few months. I share bits of it here on this blog – this space. It’s another way of sharing my story. I’m not sure when it became important to share. It isn’t therapeutic for me. I was asked and then I felt compelled and then I loved reaching people.

It takes some vulnerability to share. When I’m speaking I’m sharing my loss, my grief and how I found my way through. When I put out that post and Scott’s words I freaked out. Not that day, but the next day. I thought this is too much. This is sacred and I’m putting it out there. When I’m speaking I have some control over how it’s taken in. It’s easy to say what you mean and not have it up for varying interpretations. I have control over my words here, but it’s different. You can’t hear my voice. So I freaked out and after I read Suz’s comment, then Kate’s comment…I thought this is okay. It’s going to be okay.

When I started this blog part of its purpose was to, hopefully, inspire. Because if I can do it you can. People can endure a hell of a lot and come out the other side. Part of this is that. I don’t have a lot of rules here, but I have one that is a must. I must stay true to who I am. Scattered or with purpose or wordy or vulnerable or about nothing at all it is all me. Me sharing.

Swept Up

In Wall E
And my kids’ reactions to it. We saw it in the theatre and fell in love. Now we own it and my three year old, Benjamin, can’t get enough. I have limited it to once a day. Once a day he is watching Wall E and I think that might be too much. If I would let him have it his way it would start over the minute it ended. It’s a great movie though. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a while and that’s saying a lot because I can’t stand cartoons. Thank God for the geniuses at Pixar.

16 thoughts on “story-sharing

  1. Suz Broughton

    You do inspire me, every time I come here. Even before I knew your “story,” you have a talent for storytelling that moved me.

  2. Isabella Snow

    I know precisely what you mean, being known around town as the girl who something happened to. It can be difficult to break through the unwanted pity people seem to feel compelled to give. Strangers, even. Sounds like you have flown through with brilliant colors. Good for you, H. And Happy New Year!

  3. sugarlens

    My husband loves Wall-E. His favorite character is Mo, the little cleaning guy.

    Wow, I am surprised that your son likes Wall-E. I think the movie is more for adults and not as kid-friendly as other Disney/Pixar movies. I’d say your 3 yo is very grown up!

  4. Chris

    I’m very inspired when I read your words. I know what you mean about being vulnerable, but I think it is a little theraputic for me. I like to share with others about myself and tell stories and such. I think blogging is one of the best mediums out there for such a thing, too.

  5. Kate Coveny Hood

    You are such a wonderful storyteller. And I think your writing really does have a voice. I worry about that sort of thing too though. Do I sound too cynical? Do people think I don’t like my kids? It’s hard to convey tone. But you do it very well.

  6. Heidi

    suz, thank you so much. I feel the same about your storytelling. I’m glad to have found you!
    (I’m just happy I’m around for the time of pixar.)

    isabella, happy new year to you!! it’s not something great to be known for and I did move not long after the car accident. Being there, for me, felt like being in a time warp. I have family and friends there so we visit a lot, but I couldn’t live there again.

    sugarlens, loving your pic! I think wall e is like the disney movies of the past with little talking and more music. I remember loving that as a kid. Maybe that sort of thing still appeals to kids. I just know that I have never seen either of my kids have such emotional reactions to a movie. (mo is very cute.)

    chris, talking things over with my friends about pretty much anything is therapeutic for me and there have been things I have put on this blog that feels a little like therapy to me too. I’m with you there. It’s specifically sharing that part of my life with an audience. A few speakers have told me that it’s therapeutic for them to share whatever it is that they have gone through and I have just never found that to be my experience.

    kch, I hear ya. Although, for the record, I never think you sound too cynical or like someone that doesn’t like her kids. I can relate to you and you draw people in with what you write.

  7. dawn

    your storytelling is so important to me. it’s so moving. i always look forward to the new things that you will share as i get to know you better. your words bring me meaning. they bring meaning to many people. and i’m grateful to you for that, heidi. you should consider writing a book if you haven’t already.

  8. curious girl (lisa)

    you inspire me, dear heidi.

    and (here’s a little story) I love writing your name. “heidi” was the second word I learned to spell, after my own name. my best friend was named heidi and we learned to spell each other’s names together. I remember that day sitting with my mom (a teacher) at the kitchen table. I would sing-song “h-e-i-d-i”.

  9. Live More Now (LMN)

    I truly believe there are some people who are MEANT to share. You DO inspire, and even when it’s scary, please keep sharing. Only because there are so many people who need people like you around to remember why gratitude and grace are a so much better way to live your life than a grumpy complaining approach. You are wonderful.

  10. tanya

    You are amazing plain and simple; whether flopped in your jammies surrounded by treats and trash talking the awards outfits (so fun!) or sharing your story to thousands.

  11. Heidi

    tanya, thank you….we are on for the Oscars I hope.
    (did you see Drew Barrymore’s hair?? What was going on there? like she had a plate of crazy and then fell asleep, woke up and came to the show. her dress was pretty though.)

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