In the last few days, I’ve been pondering the idea of who we are in someone else’s story. As a friend of mine says, we all tend to view life as our own personal Broadway musical. We’re the star, the hero(ine), and other people dance across the stage to serve our story and move our plot forward.
At least in our story. But our lives intersect with others’ lives in mysterious ways (see: LOST) and the role we play in their story is often wildly different than the one we play in our own.
I have been the villain in someone else’s story, just by virtue of the fact that I had, fought for, and/or won something she wanted. (Come to think of it, I’ve filled that role several times over the years.)
I’ve been the quirky, Joan Cusack-ish gal pal who lacks a verbal filter in someone else’s rom-com story several times.
But on the rare occasion, I get to be a White Rabbit–someone whose presence and actions invite others to enter into a grand new adventure. I love that part. Frankly, it’s often more fun than being the “main character.”
The other day, two remarkable, smart, successful people told me in a conversation in the real world that they (A) read this blog and (B) that it had an impact on them. I was completely blown away. The mental illusion I manage to maintain that this blog is only read by my dozen closest friends and that one odd guy in Latvia is probably a large reason I’m able to write some of the stuff I write here.
So for the two new friends–that’s my recommendation if you want to write more freely about some of the topics that are closest to your hearts–pretend nobody is reading it. Total denial=freedom to say most anything you want.
It was one of those rare little glimpses of the impact I have on others. It was very cool. It was a little scary.
It reminds me of something I read or heard lately, about Moses viewing the glory of The Holy Rear-End of God. Moses needed to see with his own eyes the goodness of the one he was following. He needed a glimpse of something that proved he wasn’t just wandering around in the desert because he was crazy from…probably, too much time in the desert. But the glory of God is too much for any mortal to take in. So God gave him a quick peek at, as someone smarter than me described it, “where all the goodness of God had just been.” It was more than enough to inspire him to keep on doing what he’d been doing.
We never really know the impact we have on other people. Which is probably for the best. If we ever saw the full impact of our lives and actions on others, we’d probably either get unbearably arrogant or end up paralyzed by intimidation.
But every now and then, we get a glimpse, a little view, and even that can be breathtaking. We see the glory of a place where the divine just passed by, and it keeps us motivated.
I hope my two new friends realize that what they said to me was that glimpse, and that it was miraculously well-timed. My deepest thanks.