A Return to Oz

by Mary Margaret

marymargaretStories keep us alive, in more ways than one. They bring us back to ourselves, our desires, our needs and possibilities as humans living in this strange yet significant world.

As I continue the journey of self-discovery in 2015, I continue to ask questions about what it means to be a 20-something on this earth, here in the southeastern corner of the United States. And in all honesty, I am finding that it means something different for everyone, for each unique beating heart and thriving mind.

In the bottomless basement of my thoughts, I sense a fusion of culture, of beginnings and ends, of chaos and beauty. I sense a merging of stories.

I remember a conversation I had with my mother over a year ago when she stated how curious, hopeful, and imaginative I was during my college years. She mentioned it as a longing, as though she was secretly asking, Where did that person go?

I am fairly certain this exchange occurred when I was job-searching and becoming increasingly discouraged with the cards I had been dealt. The game of life was not working in my favor and I felt belittled and wronged because of it.

While I had not rejected my inner Dorothy entirely, adulthood had somewhat stained me. I was letting it rob me of my creativity and charm like the tornado that captured Dorothy on her way to Oz.

I do not know what it looks like, completely, for my stories to merge but I must ask, What if we, what if I took the time to settle into my own narrative without shame or abandon? What if I refused to be troubled by my asymmetric detours and simply sat and observed?

Our stories collide together like waves in the ocean. We must celebrate the chaos and turmoil of our stories. They do not always make sense but they always require our attention.

This year, in 2015, I commit to this collision. I commit to becoming an observer and learner of myself, a listener to my stories no matter what agenda or assumptions the world throws at me.

Let the waves speak.
Let the stories emerge.

About Mary Margaret

Mary Margaret is passionate about stories: story-telling, story-sharing, and story-collecting. She finds layers of narrative in everything- in the swirl of cream circling inside of her coffee, on her beloved and treasured yoga mat, and in the hilarity and simplicity of everyday life. NPR is her favorite friend and passenger as she does a great deal of driving and avoids traffic like the plague. During her college years, Mary Margaret founded the Black Warrior Storytelling Festival and brought storytellers together from all over the state of Alabama. She believes stories are the thread of life and create human connection like nothing else.

Currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, Mary Margaret is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer at the Tennessee Literacy Coalition. Some day she hopes to create an after-school program for youth that is focused on building creativity in the forms of Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Music, and Art.

You can find more of her writing here: http://aheartthatsmiles.blogspot.com

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