When I was little, if someone said you were “telling stories,” that was a polite way to say you were lying. The funny thing is that stories are also a way to make sense of the world and, ultimately, make sense of ourselves as well.
As a professional writer, I’ve long known how to tell other people’s stories, but I’m finally learning to appreciate the complex beauty of my own story and the winding path that has led me to the Me I am now.
The Story of The Janet Lynn
When I entered the world, I was given the name Janet Lynn, a Southern double-moniker much like my mother’s name, Marcia Lee. My family usually pronounced my name as Jannuh-leeyen, most often with affection, sometimes with irritation, but always with an extra syllable or two.
The start of my school years marked the unofficial end of The Janet Lynn, my double name truncated to Janet. Just Janet. And I was just fine with that. Among family members, The Janet Lynn persisted, but in the world at large, The Janet Lynn was no more.
Now I’ve come back full circle with a new affection for The Janet Lynn that ushered me into this world. Fun to say. Easy to spell. And deeply connected to old stories and truths that I’m grateful to re-discover.
We live in an age when it’s quicker and easier than ever to connect with the world. But pausing to reflect and know ourselves first has an uncanny way of deepening outer connections and making them real.
Telling our stories is a beautiful place to begin.