Monday, December 28, 2009

Writing My Own Story

I'm reading Donald Miller's newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. In a nutshell, a couple guys asked him to make his Blue Like Jazz memoir into a movie, and as they fictionalized his character, he made some fascinating connections between a story and reality.

I find myself thinking Don Miller is full of crap. I mean, he writes about his faults, but then accomplishes these amazing things like riding a bike across the country to raise money for wells in Africa, losing a lot of weight, writing amazing books. So then I get frustrated because I feel like his image of himself is so inaccurate.

When I was reading Blue Like Jazz, I felt a pretty amazing connection to Don Miller because we shared so much in common in the realm of insecurities. It was refreshing to see a successful 30 something confess the lacking he felt. But now that he's gone and made something of himself, I can't compare anymore!

As I'm reading, I find myself thinking, "This is all really good, but it's so idealistic. I want to make steps to better myself and my life, and to have purpose, but I don't have what it takes." Similar thoughts were constantly running through my head, and then I read this:

"Perhaps one of the reasons I've avoided having a clear ambition is that second you stand up and point toward a horizon, you realize how much there is to lose. It's always been this way."
(Chapter 18)

And then I'm back to feeling like Don and I really are quite alike. And deep down, I'd like to think we're alike in that I do have a lot to offer. Maybe.

But I can't write my own story if I don't have a plan. And there won't be any great victory if there aren't hurdles to jump. So what can I do? How can I make my life worth reading? I'm not quite sure yet, but I've got a couple small things in mind to start.

First of all, I'm going to do my reading goal again. You can't go wrong with reading. I want to read 12 books this year. Somehow, reading makes life meaningful. I'm not sure how, but it does. It must.

Second, well, this one I'm still on the fence about. I want to get healthy. I don't want to say that here because it's just something I'm going to look back on in a few days, a few weeks, even months, and realize, I've failed. again. But I'm putting it out here anyway because it's a desire.

Third, I want to have an impact in people's lives, and other than teaching, I don't really know how to do that. So I have a mini-plan, but I'm not sure how it's going to work. This is where I need help (Truthfully, I need help in many areas, but this isn't the time for all that). I need suggestions/ideas on ways I can help people. My goal is to do SOMETHING for someone once a week. I know that sounds ridiculously simple, but I'm a pretty selfish person, and I don't feel like I give much of myself to others in any way. So, that's my plan.

To start, I've signed up on as a lender. This is kind of impersonal, but it's a step. Go to to read about these low income entrepreneurs, and how you, too, can help them be self sufficient!

I'm scared. I'm frightened. I fear the failure that is to follow. But what's a story without a conflict?


Renee said...

I'm a Kiva lender. It may be "impersonal," but it's probably the most effective way to empower not only the individuals in developing nations, but the very economies of developing nations. Good for you. :-)

Kass said...

Don't think that what you do to affect someone has to be BIG. You and I are quite alike in the way that we feel we need to accomplish something HUGE to make a difference. But don't overlook things like talking to someone who seems lonely or giving someone a compliment. Those don't appear to have an impact to US but I can't tell you how many times someone told me how good my hair looked or how nice I looked and how it really made my day so much better.

Your story before God can touch many lives without being what we consider amazing. Remember, God's not as impressed with amazing feats of greatness (like us) as He is with a consistent, loving attitude.

Sizzledowski said...

You're right, Kass ... and that's on my list of things to figure out: WHAT makes something important? Obviously, what you said is true; it doesn't have to be major things. But still, meaningful and purposeful things are what I'm going to strive for. :)

Kookie said...

I want to read the books that you read. We will accomplish 12 books together.