Story Notes

storynotesby Holly CrawfordAs a film geekstress (meaning I actually listen to and enjoy commentaries) I enjoy AMC’s program ‘Story Notes’. AMC shows a film and adds delectable tidbits of info while you watch. I love when a colorful note pops up on screen, detailing the ins and outs of production, little factoids about the actors, and the twists of fate that go into making some of the most famous movies on earth.Factoid: Ripley, from the Alien franchise, was initially a male character. But the surprise of a kick-butt female compelled the filmmakers to cast a woman in the lead.

See! Isn’t that fun? It makes me think of my own story and the notes that go with it. The little known facts, thought processes, decisions, and experiences that form my days, weeks, and eventually, years. When combined, these details act as a commentary to our life, adding depth and significance if we’re willing to examine them more closely.

Following the example of a friend from church, I’ve been spending at least ten minutes every night to review my day. To ruminate on its events and to think about what it’s taught me. I write during this time, making my own ‘Story Notes’. Sometimes, my heart leaps out of my chest as I document the excitement and blessing of my friendships, the ideas that inspire me, and the experiences and opportunities that drive me. Sometimes, my heart is full of hurt, doubt, disappointments, and plain ol’ heartbreak. And sometimes, all I can muster is one thought. One sentence. One word.

No matter what comes out, I tell my story. A story that hides itself even from me when I’m busy building my dreams and hopeful legacy. One that disappears within the mundane and even flow of a day, or within the hectic bustle of a busy week. Left to my own devices, I’ll forget the moment of impact when inspiration strikes. I’ll disregard the importance of that kernel of encouragement that made a difference. I’ll never notice that seemingly innocuous decision that got me one step closer to my dreams.

So I’ve begun to take stock of this journey, to try and see it in the entries of a journal. Once on the page, I can see how the words of my mother, whose advice of, “take the reins of your life, or everyone else will want to do it for you”, has become a personal motto. Looking back, the pages remind me to value the sweetness of an old man seeking me out at work to discuss the best movie he ever saw. (Madame X starring Lana Turner. He cried.) Other times, when even writing fails to quell the burden of another day, they work their magic of grace by whispering, “You’ll do better tomorrow.”

If your story notes popped up on screen, what would they say? What twists of fate would they reveal? What failures, fears, joys, and experiences? If you think these things aren’t important, if you think the production of your life gives little insight, I think you’re missing out on their true value. See, everyone wants a sweeping epic. A riveting biopic. But the biggest successes in film history come from adlibs, flubbed lines, character changes, and cut scenes. Sweeping epics are only as good as the details they come out of. So take some time for them. And realize the rich, promising story you have to tell the world is shaped day in, and day out.

 

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