Dear Priscilla, you can have your story back. Thanks. Love, Hannah.


I could have married Elvis Presley.

I simply needed to be born 40 years earlier to different parents. Those parents would need to move me to Germany when I was fourteen so that I could meet him while he was serving in the army. You and I are thinking the same thing right now, “Hannah, it’s totally plausible. YOU could have married the King of Rock & Roll.”

You see, as other 16-year-old’s were reading Seventeen Magazine and Cosmo I was gushing over every Priscilla Presley book that I could find. For reasons I still cannot pinpoint I was infatuated with the the girl who graced Graceland. Although it was not the happiest story of all time, I envied her story in so many ways. I wanted it for my own, dark times and all.

We grow to be pretty good at belittling our life experiences in order to shine a spotlight on the ones we deem to be more interesting. It takes a few seconds to swap out our own story for one that is more “Hollywood,” more “glamorous.”  We want to be loved like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. We want a worthwhile adventure of Eating, Praying and Loving like Elizabeth Gilbert. We drool over the picture perfect endings for the winners of American Idol and half of us have wanted to be Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I think its time that instead of constantly glorifying the stories of others we begin to hold up our own stories. We waste time wrapped up in the way someone else lives their life, in picking apart our own lifestyles because they don’t unfold perfectly, because we haven’t fallen in love as quickly as we had hoped.

Let’s face it, we are all destined for different stories. Different Best Friends. Different First Kisses. Different Moments Of Clarity. But the key to all this is that we claim them. That we don’t shove them off because we think they are not pretty enough or thrilling enough or good enough to percolate in the ear of someone else. We need to stomp all over this insecurity and set out writing our story as if it were a New York Times’ Bestseller, as if every person in the whole wide world had a reason to read about our every single step.

Who is to say that one day Priscilla Presley won’t be gushing over my life story? Maybe Angelina will sit down at night and read your story to her seventeen children. It could happen…

I look back on the silliness that was my “green monster” envy for Priscilla’s story and I realize… I could have never married Elvis. Priscilla and I could have been standing side-by-side in front of that gorgeous blue-eyed boy and he most certainly would have still picked her. Because that was the way her story was supposed to play out. Her story. Not Mine.

But if it were different, if by some chance of fate her story was my own, what would be done with all the pieces of my lifetime that I have created? Someone else would get my father’s famous milkshakes. Another girl would be living out my dreams of becoming a writer one day. A little girl in El Salvador would be missing a sponsor. My best friend would be telling her tales from Prague to a best friend who was not me. And I might look at that life, that life of someone else, and think, “that could have been my story.”And then I would sigh and wonder if we will ever be happy with what we have in front of us.

We can learn much from the lives and stories of others (which is why I think sharing is always a good thing), those stories will help us flesh out our own. I think it will be a beautiful day when we all pick up the pencils and love our own lives first, instead of the lives that look more appealing or whimsical. Because we are the authors, illustrators and editors of our own tales for a reason but only we can bring that reason into existence.

What do you love about your own story?


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22 thoughts on “Dear Priscilla, you can have your story back. Thanks. Love, Hannah.

  1. I often wish that my story was more similar to my mom’s. She married my dad in her early 20s and had 3 kids by the time she was my age. Or I should say I used to wish that was my story.

    As the years progress, I am thankful for the fact that I have been single for the majority of my 20s. I will be single when I turn 30 – that’s not how I envisioned my life turning out, but I have had so many adventures that I probably wouldn’t have had if I had gotten married at a younger age.

    I just really hope I get my happily ever after ending some day!

    1. Lisa, I have full faith that you will. Isn’t it crazy how people get married so much later in life now.. I think it allows people to venture out on their own first before settling down. Funny how the times change. And hold tight to those adventures.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. I fall in love with your writing more and more every day.

    I’m currently writing my memoir, hoping that at least ONE person out there will want to read it some day.

    I don’t think we give ourselves (me included) enough credit to the experiences we’ve survived and conquered. We seem to dwell on all of the negative things in our lives, and less on the wonderful things that we have going for ourselves.

    1. Thank you! That is so great to hear, I am so happy you like my writing.

      And put on the list of people who would love to read your memoir, k?

      And I feel ya, you are so right- we do tend to dwell on the negative things or we belittle the hardships we have gone through because they don’t seem as bad as someone elses. But it is not about that at all. It is about owning our experiences and allowing them to shape us.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  3. Hey Hannah Katy! So glad you stopped by so that I was able to find your blog! I love it! This is a great post, and I agree with every word of it!

  4. Hannah! I am so very glad you found me so that I could find you! I’ve only read this one post so far, but I already know I like you. 🙂 This post is spot on. I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue recently, and I think it relates to the ever-present “why do i blog?” question. I think blogging reminds us that our lives ARE stories. A beautiful collection of them. The story is, after all, the reason we glamorize other peoples’ lives. We come to believe that their stories are more interesting than ours. But blogging reminds us that (a) we all have interesting stories to tell and (b) those stories are worth telling. It’s all in the telling, really. I believe we make our lives beautiful in the way that we capture, preserve and re-tell the stories we live.

    Beautiful post. So glad to have “met” you!

    1. Hi Lauren,

      So happy you stopped by. I think I tackle that question a lot as well, I used to think that if I blogged I would have nothing to say and I was discouraged to even begin. But now I see, with each passing post, that there is so much to say and you are right, it is totally in the telling of the story. I am looking forward to more of yours!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  5. I love this post! I need to take some time to think about it, because I know that I do that – I compare my life to other peoples’ lives…but I’m not sure I know exactly why or how I feel my own story is “lacking”. This feels like Saturday morning coffee shop reflection 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness, do you have a Saturday morning coffee shop that you go to? I am on the prowl for one! Please share.

      And I am glad you liked the post and that you stopped by!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  6. I really don’t give myself enough credit for the life experiences I have had. Too often, I’m stuck on the fact that I haven’t done this or that. Everytime I hear of another childhood friend getting engaged or graduating, it tears at my heart. But you are right. These are my own life experiences and nobody else can handle them quite the way I can. I need to embrace this life of mine! Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Stephany, with every word that you write I am reminded every single day of how remarkable you are. I think you are well on your way to embracing life but I know exactly what you mean when you hear of people doing things that have not been in the cards for you just yet.. Be strong and know that I am a huge fan of yours! Thank you, as always, for the support.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  7. Brilliant post, seriously. I was thinking about this all afternoon. I kinda came to two conclusions, I’d like to be content with my life, and happy with the way I’m living. In saying that, liking what other people have, the lives they live, or even just the characteristics they exhibit push me to evolve and be a better (or worse, maybe) person. Can you grow and evolve if you’re content with the way you are? Can people be stagnant? I dunno, I’m still puzzling it out. Cheers for giving me something to puzzle over, though 🙂

    1. You raise a good point Elly! I, too, have been inspired by the lives of others and their examples have pushed me to better my own life. And I don’t think we ever reach a point where we stop evolving or growing, no matter how content we are. I think we reach a point of fullness but there will always be a new challenge or obstacle or milestone ahead. Or at least that is what I have come to learn thus far.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  8. Another beautiful and thought-provoking post that I absolutely adore. And yet again, it comes when I totally need it – perfect timing! I guess embracing our stories can be so scary because it means embracing ourselves more fully, accepting the people we’ve been and the people we’re becoming. But you’re right, we’re meant to live the lives that we’re given, hardships and all!

    1. So good to hear from you Brianna! And I am always so happy to know that my posts are coming to you at the right time.. It has been more than a blessing to know that the struggles and challenges on my heart are shared across the board with a lot of different people, makes me more aware that I am definitely not alone in all this. And I think that you are so right, it does mean that we need to accept ourselves more fully and that is NOT an easy thing to do… But I reckon it feels better than not embracing ourselves. Did I really just say “reckon”? Ha. I miss you!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  9. thank you for this!! ❤

    Just the other day, I had tweeted something like "why do I always get jealous of ex-classmates that look like suicide girls and have artsy/indie careers? sigh". Because one thing about graduating is you will compare yourself to others and where they are in life vs. where you are. It's normal. And facebook is evil for that reason. ;P

    "We waste time wrapped up in the way someone else lives their life, in picking apart our own lifestyles because they don’t unfold perfectly, because we haven’t fallen in love as quickly as we had hoped. " LOVED this. I definitely am having a blast as a single women, and feeling confident to boot, but again, with the comparing and feeling like I haven't fallen in love like I'd hoped by my age.. etc.

    The funny thing is, I DO have an awesome story! I'm having one of those awesome Eat Pray Love adventures of my own. I can attest to majorly kicking ass. I've been at a Zen monastery for 2 months now practicing meditation and learning Chinese. It's one heck of a unique journey and story unfolding and what's next; the possibilities are endless! I'm seriously considering walking the entire island of Palawan, Philippines with a local. Which is mostly pure jungle and beaches and gorgeousness!

    Yet here I am in a moment of time on facebook feeling jealous that some ex classmate I have no connection to has her own self published book, DIY publishing label, model artist blahblahblah. And I get jealous of location independent entrepreneurs who are successful too. Because that's what I want to aspire to. Sorry to write a novel! Basically, I just try to remind myself that I've got a good thing, and that I need to OWN my career break and realize this "idleness" or "wasted time" isn't REALLY wasted. What it comes down to is living a life of passion, and I'm doing it! I ask myself when making decisions: "Will this give my life value?" If the answer is yes, then I do what I can to make it happen! Obviously, I answered yes to the monastery/temple stay.. so my story unfolding is, in my eyes, epic. Just do your thing 🙂 Don't worry about what others do. You do you.

    1. Thank you Floreta! I like that “you do you.” So true.. And your life does sound pretty great, I would love to be doing some of the stuff that you are doing… but hey, I am going to leave those great things up to you so that you can tell me all about them! I think it is just embracing what comes our way and going for it full force..

      I wouldn’t worry about those Facebook friends… Just do you.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  10. This is one of the reasons why I want to teach English in some capacity; I think it’s so important for people to recognize that they have their own voice and their own story, and that taking control of that narrative is essential to leading a life of independence and self-sufficiency. If we let anyone else direct our narratives, we relinquish the power of the author/director and become little more than actors in someone else’s script. But in embracing one’s own story, and not denying or belittling any part of that story, the individual is empowered.

    1. I agree Jen. And I think that is amazing that you want to teach English, more individuals like you need to be teaching the youth about the importance of holding up their own stories to the light, of treasuring their own experiences instead of being consumed by envy over another. I know for certain that I don’t want to be an actor in some one else’s script, you draw a great point.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

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