Yesterday, I was in a little town I love. Fewer than 1,000 people live there, the fabric of America type town.
No McDonald’s. Or Walmart. There’s not even a stoplight I don’t think.
I spent lots of childhood summers, Christmas Eves and Thanksgiving Days there. No one really knows of it unless you’re from around those parts.
But it’s a terrific little town.
I didn’t see all the family I’m used to seeing while because work took me there for a specific in and out type of purpose. To help a company tell a story.
But driving through those streets reminded me of my own story.
It’s what I do every working day of my life.
Create content. Find stories. Help brands see how to make their customers the center of the narrative instead of themselves. Show them how engaging content can grow their business, both in revenue and trust.
But in the grind and stress and chaos and joy and hope and worry and overwhelm and excitement of starting, running and growing a small business, my own content creation took a back seat. Understandably.
If you scroll very far through this blog, you’ll see a couple raw posts from earlier this year, then a long gap of time.
Lots happened in that gap.
The business was born. My marriage was tested. We doubted our parenting. I lost touch with friends. I grew closer to others. I saw a counselor. Some things healed. Some things haven’t yet. We took fun trips. Other trips got cancelled because of leaking roofs (homeownership sucks sometimes). Our oldest started high school. Our youngest started grade school. We walked with friends through dark days of their own. I started to get to know myself. And a thousand other things.
One (of a million) profound things our therapist told me, while I was sitting on that couch of his, was, “A story untold is a story shamed.”
We were talking about some deep, traumatic things from my past. The stories I preferred would be hidden in the bottom of the darkest closet with all the winter stuff no one wears anymore.
But as the stories were told, the shame burned like fire, then it melted away. And in its place was freedom and the feeling of being known, loved, accepted and understood.
As I drove away from that little town, down the dusty, bumpy gravel road, I felt grateful I get to help companies tell meaningful stories.
I love it.
But I felt that little nudge of “hey man, you need to tell your story again too….”
The same nudge Brooke has given me the past year, at least a dozen times. The push to write again, specifically our story.
And then today, getting Seth Godin’s daily email that said this pushed me to open WordPress again and hit “Add New Post”.
So here I am. The first day of 1,000. I can’t even get to day 12 of Whole30, so I hope this is a habit that sticks.
Because stories untold are stories that are shamed.