Sometimes, when I drive down the road, I think how almost every single thing I see is backed by a real live breathing person.
The Dollar Cuts store. Someone had the idea. Started the business. Stuck their neck out. Someone else bought the franchise. Worked thousands of hours. Hired people. Managed them. Taught them. Paid them.
The grass in the median that someone planned. Someone planted. Someone mows. Someone oversees and decides when maybe they should put flowers there now.
The little house on the corner. Someone saw the lot. Maybe a field? Bought it. Found money to finance it. Found a builder. Watched it grow. Picked the colors. The carpet. The carport. The mailbox.
The mailbox. Someone designed that mailbox. Got the metal. Made the metal into a box (welded it?). Picked out the paint. Put it in a catalog. Wrote some copy.
Every thing. Every single thing you see has a story. Has a someone. Has risk and love and blood and sadness and joys and money and no money and relationships and heartache and people. Stories stories stories. People. People. People.
Ann Lamott turned 61 recently and posted something about it on Facebook. I loved what she said. Here are one of my favorite things she said:
Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together. They are much more like you than you would believe. So try not to compare your insides to their outsides.
We are more alike than we know. And when we read (and write) we get to hear people think, we get to experience their risks, their joys, their sadnesses, their everythings, intimately, and that makes our world bigger. It makes us understand more. It makes us kinder. It makes us smarter. And makes us love a little bit better.
I hope we write the hard things. I hope we write the stories we feel and and we see and we experience. I hope we don’t shy away from scariness or vulnerabilities. I hope we tell about the Dollar Cuts owner and her dog named Jimmy and how she lives alone and eats pancakes and drinks Sprite and watches HGTV and how she spent her life savings on that store. Her entire life savings and how maybe it wasn’t worth it. Or maybe it was.
So many stories waiting to be told.