What’s Your Story?

If you have no story to tell, something, somewhere, isn’t quite right.

Not a day passes that we don’t experience something worth sharing, whether it’s something we observed, something we heard, something we participated in, something we remembered from the past, or even something we are planning for or dreaming of in the future. We all have a story to share.

If we feel we have nothing worthwhile to share is it because we are sitting idle, waiting for life to happen? Do we wait for other people for the company, or to have enough time, or enough money in order to acquire experiences we feel are worthy of sharing? Do we dare not to dream because we fear we’ll never be in a position of “doing”? If this, in any respect, is the case, our story, presently, is a tragedy.

Scarlette Begonia

One of the best storytellers of the day is Casey Neistat, filmmaker and vlogger. He recently traveled to Madrid for a speaking engagement. During his vlog shot from there, in a moment of reminiscence, he recounted the story of his first trip to Spain; he was young, still a teenager, with a young child to support, he worked as a dishwasher. Yet, he managed to set aside enough of a small sum of money that he could manage to pay for a trip to Europe with his older brother. Casey’s story was a reflection of his priorities; he still supported his child, he worked very hard, and saved diligently, and he traveled and experienced, that he’d have life experiences to grow from and stories to share. He had very little time and he had very little money, but his passion for life and experience inspired him to find a way. Because of his commitment to experience and to storytelling, he has followed his passion into a self-made career as an independent filmmaker and YouTube artist.

There is a way, but it won’t likely come find us while we sit idle and wait. We must pursue, we must go forth, if we want amazing adventures to tell tale of.

And yet, stories don’t have to be of an epic adventure to be worthy of telling. Some of the best stories are relatable because they are ordinary events, just well told and joyfully shared.

Scarlette Begonia

If we feel we have nothing worthwhile to share, is it because we don’t have the confidence to think others will find value in what we have to tell. This, too, would make our story a bit of a tragedy. Almost any story told with confidence and passion is worthwhile. There is humor, there are observations, there are plenty a worthy tale that can stem from the most mundane of events. The success of a story has only a little to do with content and much more to do with delivery and with engagement, which stems wholly from confidence.

Confidence, much like working very hard at a job and diligently saving money for a trip to Europe, takes commitment and practice and fortitude. And confidence will serve us well in every aspect of life. Confidence is a practice, like yoga or tai chi or ballet, like singing or playing the violin, once proficient, there is always another level of excellence to achieve. It is infinite. But confidence is critical, it is a life force.

Scarlette Begonia

And even with experiences to share and the confidence to tell them, there will be the few who will still not hear, will not listen, and this is never a reflection on the story or the storyteller. As much as storytelling is an art, so, too, is listening. The best storytellers are the best listeners; the best listeners are the best storytellers. As author Bryant H. McGill has been quoted, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Every story, every tale, every storyteller, will have a critic, too, from time to time. The quality of our story does not rely on the reaction of the listener, but the joy it brings us to tell and to those who truly hear. Do not be discouraged by those unwilling to hear, it is their loss, completely.

I often share stories of my simple, little life. In some cases, when I have an attentive audience, I feel I can tell the greates tale. Other times, when my audience isn’t connected or focused or willing, I struggle to even form intelligible sentences. I was, the other day, at the salon for my brow and bikini wax and as the hot wax was slathered on and the cool wax ripped off, I shared my tales of the weeks since my last visit. Here, I always find the perfect audience. May I suggest, if you struggle to find a willing audience with whom to share your stories, I have found the very best listeners, of all time, to be aestheticians. I have never had an aesthetician who wasn’t a great listener, who didn’t respond in all the right ways to all the stories I have to share. Your aesthetician, if you’re into bikini waxes, knows you in a way even your doctor doesn’t. There is a level of familiarity and intimacy with your aesthetician that can hardly be duplicated with anyone. I can get smooth and pretty and practice my craft of storytelling! Just thought I’d share.

Scarlette Begonia

Storytelling is a very large part of life; books, songs, movies, dance, photography, television shows, art, and poetry, are all just stories arranged into various mediums. Stories fill our every day, and, true, while many make a profession of telling a story, in one form or another, the rest of us are no less capable. We need only experiences to share and the confidence to express ourselves, and, we too, can tell a story!

So, what is your story?

Take Underwear Out of Purse

Who knows you better than anyone in the world? Who knows every little freckle, mole, scar, hair follicle? Who, because they know every freckle, mole, scar, hair follicle, do you feel exceedingly comfortable with disclosing the most intimate details of your life? Most of you may say your husband, boyfriend, significant other, spousal equivalent, lover, close friend, family member. For me? My esthetician. 

True, my significant other may know the freckles, moles, scars, but probably not the hair follicles, and not quite ALL of the most intimate details of my life. My daughter and close, close friends may know some, or most of the most intimate details of my life, likely not ALL, and certainly not the “landmarks” on my body, in particular, my bikini region. 

My first bikini wax, I was nervous, of course. A stranger working in that region to an extent that even my OB/GYN may blush at. I, somehow, lucked out and was assigned to   an awesome esthetician, Sam. Over the course of the visit, she chatted with me about this, that and the other. She was casual, funny, very consultative, made me feel at ease and just got stuff done. My next visit, she remembered almost every detail of the our previous discussions. Impressive. My daughter came along for some similar “work”, and upon finding we were a mother/daughter duo, invited us into sort of a “combined” bikini wax party chat session, with only one of us on the table, at a time, of course, the other relegated to the stool in the corner. This became our tradition, and Sam always seemed delighted to see us, whether we had appointments at the same time, or at different times, always inquiring about relevant current events and remembering all the finer details. 

Sam moved to another salon, a little further away. We followed, continuing our bikini wax party chat sessions. Eventually, though, Sam moved to another state, as did my daughter, and the party was over. Devastated at the news, in an effort to console me, Sam recommended another esthetician she thought would suit me, and was right. My first visit with my new esthetician, a rapport quickly developed (like, by the end of the first visit) and we were chatting about all sorts of things very quickly and very naturally. Again, my new esthetician was casual, funny, consultative, made me feel at ease and just got stuff done.

My new esthetician was so good, she recently got promoted to a management position at yet another location. She’d no longer be performing services, but I decided to follow her to the new location, and to follow her recommendation for a new esthetician, which, again, has worked out well. My new esthetician isn’t quite as well-versed in all the intimate details of my life as the first two, as she is a bit more reserved, but she still knows things about me that some of my closest friends and family don’t. Well, at least after the last visit, she does. 

It has become my practice, as of the past several months, to not wear panties with my jeans. That’s right, no undies. I go commando. I have always suffered from horrible, unsightly, panty lines, due to the general nature of my shape. I think panty lines are hideous. Thongs are a solution, but as I also am built in a way that anything with a waistband tries to seek out my waist, which is short and very high up, you can probably guess that I find thongs uncomfortable after about ten minutes. One day, I just got fed up and took my thong off, put my jeans back on, and I have been liberated, most of the time, ever since. Now you know an extremely intimate detail about me, welcome to the ever-growing club. If you haven’t tried going sans panties, do. Don’t say no until you go commando!

On bikini wax day, as, until now, only one person on the planet knew about my new “preference”, I would usually put on undies so when I undressed in front of my esthetician, it appeared as though I wore underwear, like most normal, respectable, middle-aged women. Admittedly, this is something I’d do five minutes before leaving the house for my appointment, not something I did that morning when I got dressed. I really don’t like wearing underwear. I like buying it and having a drawer full of it, and may wear it on occasion if it matches a bra or other intimate article, for an evening with my significant other, as an example.

On my last visit, I dutifully selected an incredibly cute thong from my drawer full of incredibly cute thongs and donned it. Upon arriving at the salon and being greeted by my esthetician, I was directed to her room where I disrobed, as usual. I neatly folded my jeans and placed the panties within the folds, which is my rather OCD manner of dealing with clothes not required during personal services; bikini waxes, massages, doctor visits, etc., well, actually, there are not etcs., just bikini waxes, massages, and on extremely rare occasions, a doctor visit. After my bikini wax, as my esthetician disinfected the table and filled out my bill, we chatted and I got dressed. I pulled my jeans on and turned when something flew across the room and hit the floor, only to see my incredibly cute thong panties at my esthetician’s feet. Not at, actually, more like on. There was this incredibly long, awkward silence. My jeans were on, they were all zipped up, I’d even stepped into my shoes, and my incredibly cute thong was atop my esthetician’s feet. How could I be embarrassed? She had just removed hair from follicles my closest confidants don’t even know exist! So, I laughed, and said “Ha! I don’t usually wear underwear, guess I forgot about them!” By now, she’d sort of discreetly kicked them aside and within my reach, I grabbed them and stuffed them into the outside pocket of my purse as she watched. I certainly didn’t want to take off my shoes, take off my jeans, put that torturous thong on and get dressed all over again! That would have made way too big of a production out of something I just wanted to be over with! I snapped the purse pocket shut and exclaimed, “I hope I remember they’re in there before I pull something out of my purse and have them fall out!” I laughed. She laughed.

Yes, THAT would be embarrassing!

The whole drive home, I chanted to myself silently, “take underwear out of purse, take underwear out of purse, take underwear out of purse”. And I did.