I used to suck popcorn. I didn’t want to disturb or annoy anyone with the sounds of my chewing. Now I eat it by the fistful, crunching away and grabbing more.
Never sucked popcorn? Try it. Then try the normal way. The former sucks, right? So does the feeling of not deserving the space you occupy. It seems, for countless reasons, too many of us have that feeling. Or struggle against it. Or felt that way in the past and have overcome it.
When I mentioned the idea for this blog to my writing group, someone objected to the word ‘ordinary’ in the title. As not sexy enough to draw attention, she said. I thought about that and realized, ‘ordinary’ is exactly what I’m after. I am an ordinary person interested in sharing—and hearing of others’—issues, doubts, and circumstances overcome … and how. To celebrate and to inspire us all.
I believe we need to actively remember all our personal ‘whew’ moments as well as the quiet (or loud) ‘woohoo!’ moments when we do the Snoopy dance (a personal favorite of mine). Over the years, these moments add up to give us confidence in our ability to handle Life. Then, when the big stuff arrives, we can review our list to pull strength from it. And if ours isn’t yet a long one, to look at others’ experiences of surviving, growing, and thriving—and imagine ourselves there.
Imagination is what brings characters in novels and movies to life, right? You might know someone who talks about characters from a book or show as if they are real. (Since so much of life is lived in our heads, who’s to say they aren’t?) Sometimes they’re real enough to influence the very shape of our lives. We can learn from books and we can learn from each other … the first step into ‘ordinary overcoming.’
So, as I share my moments, moving from a popcorn sucker to a joyous cruncher, (and deeper stories much harder to tell) I hope you find many you can relate to or that make you think, “Wow! So-and-so needs to read this.” But even more, I hope you’ll dive in and share your moments of ordinary overcoming. How did you do it? I’ll share as many contributed stories as I can, always and only with your permission—and you needn’t ever provide your name or others’ names—in order to build up that strength-building list for you, me, and others to draw from.
I’m no Dear Abby or therapist, and am not trained to offer advice, so I won’t be doing that. What I do hope we do together with this blog is to start a national conversation—why not world-wide, right?—encouraging and high-fiving us ordinary people finding our way through small and not-so-small challenges, from feeling small to feeling fine. Popcorn, anyone?