LeAnn - Aptos, California
Entered on May 1, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I am not a natural story teller. I have become tongue tied on many occasion as the thoughts outrun my voice. My husband on the other hand is well known for his entertaining narratives in which facts have been known to swell and shrink. The truth is fluid in his stories. Early on, when I was with my husband I would correct his story line if he strayed, but people did not like that. They wanted his expanded version. I think that is how people are with their own stories. They shape and choose the stories of their lives to fit into what they think they were, are, and hoping to be. That is why I believe that people’s stories are important.

The pureness of a social interaction is never fully recognized as I am beholden to my story. Most of the time my perception flushes forth without active recognition, and while I try to be mindful of that fact – it takes much effort. No matter how in the moment I try to be there is still that bug of a thought crawling across the window that influences the view. Sometimes I can let it roam all over and pay it no mind past the recognition of a notion, but sometimes the caterpillar becomes a butterfly and I am like a child running through the grass with a net in my hand. My creative human mind blurs the line between my old and new realities as I listen to others. Their stories become mine as the opportune moment arrives and I retell my version.

Stories are formed to fit the circumstance. Once while trying to get to a medical appointment on time I was circling the parking lot looking for a spot. One opened up and I was beaten to it by someone who had just entered the lot. I was fuming and did not get over it until I noticed the look on my son’s face. His look gave me the incentive that I needed to reframe the situation. I gave her a story. I thought back to some particularly challenging doctor’s appointments that I have had and gave her the benefit of the doubt. She had a story now, and I had mine. I knew I wanted mine (and my sons) to include compassion. I was calm as I told my son that she must of needed that spot more than us.

This world is an remarkable place to be, and as I try to live present to the moment I am also aware that every experience I have will be at hand in my next breath. What is authentic is also fleeting. People’s views change. My story is nebulous but it is one worth being told — even with parts that shrink and swell to fit my view and my audience’s palette. Moments are worth recognition, and creative voices are my human nature. I am learning how to tell my story too.