Raw & Ready

Let’s begin without a lot of fanfare. Let’s begin without any pomposity. Let’s begin where it all began, with a few snapshots – rough and imperfect and rudimentarily raw. Let’s return to the very basic tenets of sharing and exploring and creating. Back then it was the simple notion of telling a story.

It was the way we went around our childhood classrooms, each student giving a brief synopsis of their summer vacation. Some of us listened, some of us merely waited for the chance to speak (so sure that ours was the story of greatest excitement), and some of us did a little of both, leaning in to those who mattered most, politely ignoring those who dismissed us in the past. We each had a part in the play at hand, and it was how we learned to communicate and connect.

This is a far cry from kindergarten, (what I would give for nap time at any point during the day), but many of those lessons remain relevant. It’s not enough to share. It’s not enough to speak. It’s not enough to pretend that the world is only there to hear what your summer story is. Everyone has a summer story. Some are better than others, and sometimes it’s the way in which they’re told that matters most, but all of them matter – to at least one person in the world. That is enough. That is all.

We don’t have to be perfect. We certainly didn’t start off that way. We won’t end that way. And what’s in-between is as far from perfection as we can humanly get. It will be okay to make mistakes, to blink when the shutter goes off, to miss the proper punctuation, to run off with a sentence here and there.

The greatest thing is that we’re all in it together. Like that elementary school circle, when we first faced one another as children – whispering about Halloween costumes, making paper angels dusted with glittery snow, exchanging Valentines, and fidgeting until it was time for kickball – we are still the same in so many ways. There is more that we share than we don’t.

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