No one’s life story should be seen as boring
by Christy Armstrong, Banner Staff Writer
Jun 30, 2013 | 708 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Christy Armstrong
Christy Armstrong
As a reporter, learning people’s stories is part of my job description. But one thing that has often surprised me as I have interviewed people is how many have assumed their lives were too boring to write about.

After all, I have yet to interview a person to which “boring” has actually applied.

I have met bodybuilders, artists, repairmen and doctors. I have met single mothers trying to overcome homelessness. I have met men who worked hard to provide for their families. I have met college students struggling through exams. The list goes on for a long time.

Some people may seem to lead similar lives when one only considers certain characteristics, but each person is different. Everyone has something unique that drives them to do whatever it is they do. A person living life from their own unique perspective is not what I would call boring.

A life does not have to be record-breaking to be valuable and worthwhile. It just has to be lived well.

In the book-turned-movie “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, a young girl named Mae Mobley who had been ignored and unjustly punished by her mother receives a comforting affirmation from her family’s maid, Aibileen.

“You is kind,” Aibileen said as she wiped away the girl’s tears. “You is smart. You is important.”

She tells the young girl to always remember that her life matters. As grammatically incorrect as that particular quote may be, it’s something worth remembering. You are very likely smarter than you think. You have the ability to choose kindness over hate — and hopefully do as often as you can. You are important. In short, your life matters.

Society tends to focus on the “haves” and “have-nots” in a community, which can lead to some ignoring the fact that all people matter.

Everyone loves to hear the success stories, the stories of those who have made it big. But stories of people actively struggling through life one day at a time do not tend to be received with the same enthusiasm as the stories of those who have already found their way out of the proverbial woods.

Still, a homeless man walking on the shoulder of the road has as much of a story to tell as a millionaire whizzing by in a Porsche. Those people look different and are at different stages of life, but they are both valuable. They can both be kind, smart and important.

What makes a person successful is not where they currently are in life but how they choose to continue.

It is important to note here that success comes in many different forms. You may never be a movie star or a millionaire, but you can make someone’s life better, be it your own or someone else’s.

A person who comes from bad circumstances does not have to stay in them if they want to move on to better things.

As someone who has had the privilege of meeting quite a few of this area’s “success stories,” I have a challenge for you.

If you have not already done so, begin to realize that your life as it is now makes a difference to those around you. Then, live it well by being unafraid to follow your dreams.

You have two main choices when confronted with obstacles in your life.

You can live as if you are defeated, as if you have already amounted to everything you will ever be.

Or, you can live as if the best is yet to come, and hold on to what matters the most to you.

We all have dreams and goals that drive the way we live our lives. Even if the main goal is as simple as getting through the workweek, it is there.

Of course, there will always be those who remain unsupportive of other people’s dreams. In fact, you may be that unsupportive person.

There can be many reasons for the lack of support. It can stem from someone doubting another person’s skills or stick-to-itiveness. The dream itself may seem a bit too lofty.

It is fine to want to spare someone the disappointment of failure, but it is best to let people try. If they do not succeed, they have the chance to learn from the experience. If they do, then they will have even more reason to thank you for your support.

I have dreamed quite a few unrealistic dreams throughout the years. Had you asked me when I was a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you that I wanted to be a journalist AND a school teacher AND a painter AND a ballerina. In reality, I had to pick just one to be my main focus. So long, pointe shoes.

As I have written and read the stories of people who have made the news for positive reasons, I have noticed that they have mostly been those who followed their dreams and goals in some way. They persevered and accomplished something they had set out to do.

Just remember that you and your dreams and goals are not boring. Even if you are unemployed or retired, you still have the opportunity to make a difference. Ignore any voice that tells you otherwise; your life story is still happening.

Every person who is now considered successful had to start somewhere. You may as well start now. What will the next chapter of your life story look like?