Journeys

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I’m not nosy, Mr. Simmons–I’m just looking for inspiration. That sounds pretty legit, right? 🙂

It’s summer vacation around these parts (read: Dmitri was granted a week’s worth of leave before he gets his official gold wings and we head on back to Florida), which means that we’ve been eating lots of ice cream, taking lots of wagon rides, and watching lots of television.

Waaaaay too much television, if we’re being completely honest here.

Currently, we’re both officially obsessed with Gene Simmons’ reality show Family Jewels (team Tweed all the way!), Dmitri is completely addicted to Ninja Warrior, and I often find myself watching ridiculously over-the-top things like A Baby Story and Coming Home and crying. A lot. But a few days ago, I happened to catch Hoda Kotb (love her!) on the Today show, discussing her new book and some of the most significant lessons she’s learned throughout her career. I was only half listening, however, until I heard her mention that it was a stranger on an airplane who happened to deliver one of the most powerful messages she’d ever received: don’t hog your journey– it’s not just for you.

This notion– that it’s better to share your journey and your learnings because the share-ees benefit from the connection just as much as the sharers do–really struck a chord, and I’ve spent much of this week thinking about all of the story-gifts I’ve received over the years from friends, family members, and even total strangers. It’s been a pretty wonderful exercise in gratitude; I’ve been lucky to hear some truly amazing and inspirational tales, and those stories have certainly provided me with much-needed perspective during some not-so-proud moments. And while I know that, as a society, we’re pretty overexposed, I also suspect that this sense of connection is  why I am so fascinated by personal blogs and memoirs and even trashy reality shows: because they manage to shrink a way-too-big world and humanize that world’s otherwise nameless, faceless inhabitants– and because they help me to remember that the destination is rarely the most significant part of the story.

Here are a few of my favorite other-people’s-journeys/stories/belief systems sites. If you have any additional links to share, please do! 

http://www.storycorps.org

http://www.radiolab.org/ (thanks, Alek!)

http://thisibelieve.org/

http://martinsmallholocaustsurvivor.com/ (I had the privilege of spending time with Mr. Small and his wife, Doris, back in 2005. An amazing man with an amazing story– I visit his tribute page often.)

http://www.creativenonfiction.org/brevity/

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3 Responses to “Journeys”

  1. Did I read this right? You’re heading back to Florida? When?

    • We move back to FL (for 6-8 months) in late August and then we’ll head to the northwest for a several-years stint next spring. We’re getting pretty good at packing (or, alternatively, not unpacking :)).

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