Did you know that you are a storyteller? You are. In fact, you have been crafting your story for years. What are you writing about? Does your narrative belong in the genres of adventure, nonfiction, or mystery? No, not any of these. You are working on your autobiography. For a long time now, you have been busy telling your story, even though you may not be aware of it. And every year, you add a new chapter to your autobiography.
Your autobiography is different from other books of its type. You are not writing your story for fame or fortune. And your story, unlike most autobiographies, will be written right up until you take your last breath. Perhaps the strangest thing of all about your story is that you have no say about its times or places of publication; it is published automatically throughout your lifetime. Its audience consists of your family, friends, coworkers, strangers... in fact, anyone whose path crosses yours during your life.
Even though you lack control of your story's publication, this shouldn't bother you. After all, you are the storyteller. Your life is your story, and you are the one writing it. So if you aren't happy with your story, or the way it comes across to others, you must avoid the tempting impulse to make excuses for yourself. It is so easy to blame other people or difficult circumstances for our issues, rather than own up to our faults. We realize that if we are responsible for our stories, then we must confront our shortcomings and seek change. And it is so much easier to point fingers than to change lives.
As storytellers, we are responsible for the way our stories turn out. This does not mean that we have complete control of the storytelling process from beginning to end. Our stories will inevitably be influenced by other stories, as well as events and ongoing situations. But our reactions to these influences, as well as our actions, are based on choices we make. Because of this, no matter how strongly we may believe that we are victims, the truth is that we must learn to own our stories, because we are the authors.
What's your story? Are you happy with it? Is it an account of pain and struggle, happiness and hope, or a mix of joy and sadness? Are you going to accept responsibility for your story, letting go of resentment, anger, fear, and regret? Take a good look at the way your autobiography is turning out, then ask yourself if it's time to change your life. After all, it is a new year, and you have a fresh chapter to write. What will it be?