"We yearn for connections. Through shared stories we find them."
Those words are from the Introduction to my book, Life In General, which was published this week. When I originally decided to put together a collection of essays I’d written over the past eight years, essays that explored all the experiences, feelings, learning and growing I was doing on this journey into mid-life, I intended it to be a personal project, a tangible preservation of that particular time in my life. I had the idea I would give a copy to my family and a few friends, a token of my passion for writing and my gratitude for their presence in my life’s journey.
I never expected the overwhelming positive response I would receive after publishing this little book. So many friends and family have reached out to me, wanting to connect through the stories I’ve shared about my small, ordinary life.
It proves I was right in the statement quoted above. We yearn for connection with others. Something in us knows that we need it, like we need air to breathe and food to eat.
Some of us connect in large and gregarious ways, with busy active social lives, with speeches or with dinner parties. But I am a quiet person, one who most often chooses to stay home with her books, her dogs, her little family. Still, I have the yearning for connection with the world around me and the individuals who dwell within it.
I connect with stories. The stories I read. The stories I write. The stories I share about simple life, the one I live every day in the midst of working, loving, cooking, cleaning, walking my dogs.
“I don’t think people allow themselves to value their lives anymore,” wrote memoirist Patricia Hampl. “It’s the idea that every life is sacred and that life is composed of details, of lost moments, of things that nobody cares about, including the people who are wounded or overjoyed by these moments. By honoring one’s own life, its possible to extend empathy and compassion to others."
This has been an amazing week. My small book of stories is finding an audience out in the wider world, and I am celebrating and creating connections I never dreamed were possible.
I have also - thanks to the talents of my long time blogging friend Kerstin Martin and her new web design company Lattes and More - moved into this gorgeous new internet home here on Squarespace.
It has been a week filled with gifts, with lessons, with love. With connections between my heart and yours.
What more could I ask of Life In General?