Why your story matters

Originally published Tuesday, 19 April 2016.

At 18, I landed in Switzerland for my first solo adventure. I was 1000’s of KM’s from home, I didn’t speak the language, and I had to travel my boat and ferry to my home in Germany. I remember being so nervous as I shoved a pre-written slip of paper into the kiosk with a request for tickets and prayed that I would be given the right tickets.

For almost four months, I au paired two children in Germany, and travelled – for the most part on my own – to various towns and cities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.

I learnt so much in those four months but one of the things that sticks with me now is that I don’t like travelling on my own. I like having other people to experience things with. And I like being able to look back with others and say, “Remember that time we…”

A few weeks ago I shared how I’m taking a new journey on this blog: a journey that is about living well – not perfectly – but well.

I don’t want to take this journey alone. I want companions to stare at unfamiliar boards in train stations and try to figure out which platform we might have be on. I want to laugh with people when we realize that we’re on a bus going the wrong direction. And I want to sit in restaurants and tell the waiter to bring bowls of food that I don’t recognize to our table.

To put my desire in the context of this blog I want you to share your heart and words and wisdom and mistakes with me. Just as I will be sharing mine with you. I want this to be a conversation (not just you reading a postcard from my trip).

I’ve loved how more and more people have been commenting on my posts since I changed the format of the blog. Each time I see a comment it feels like I’ve walked into a backpacking lodge and we’re sitting down sharing stories about our journeys. So thank you to everyone who has taken the time to kick off your shoes and share.

Let’s not stop. If you have something bubbling in you every time you read the word "well" that you want to share, I want to hear it. I want you to tweet it to me, or write it on my Facebook wall.

And if you’re the kind of person who can express yourself in written words I want you to guest post on my blog. I hate that term “guest post” it sounds so formal. What I really want to do is to open up the doors of my home, (tell the dog to stop barking at you), sit you down on my couch, and fill you up with cake, and then listen to the stories you have about "well".

I’d tell you as you sat opposite me on the couch that sometimes I worry about using the word “well”. I worry that it puts pressure on me, on us, to be perfect, to leave broken at the door but the more I journey towards well, the more convinced I am that you can’t get to well without tearing back the veneer of “I’m alright”.

Then I’d ask you to tell me, between bites of cake, the first feeling that comes to mind when you hear the word "well". And then we’d pass conversation back and forth and share stories full of hope, and grace, and Jesus. When it was time for you to go we’d both wish you could stay longer. If I was feeling really brave I might even offer to pray with you. Then I’d stand in the driveway holding the dog back as you backed out your car and think about when I’d get to see you again.

Okay, this is a pretty long way round to tell you that I’d love to share your stories here. It’s one of my favourite parts of blogging (and travelling), the opportunity to enter into other peoples stories, to see something through someone else’s eyes.

So, what would you add? What story would you tell if we were sitting chatting together? How does "well" challenge you? Is their one moment in your life when you {insert verb} well and  learnt something that changed you? How can “well” be holy?

I can’t wait to see what you have to say. Leave a comment if you want more info or go take a look at the guest post page for further submission info.

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