So recently someone asked me, “So Melanie, what’s your story?”  I was totally taken off guard by such a deep question, especially coming from someone I had just met. Yet, it was a fair “cut to the chase” type of question. Even though I was taken off guard I didn’t let that stop me from responding immediately because the last thing I ever want is to appear to be taken off guard (just one of those things). My response? “Me…well….I am a single mom, I’m divorced, and I live and work here in town…”  This was probably not the sexiest response right? Ok, so it’s probably important to note that the person asking me this deep broad question was a guy I totally had a “gym crush” on for weeks. So just add that to the nerves factor. The stakes were high because of this yet my response was still straight from the gut. I really didn’t take the time to craft a response that would be “safe.” Thank God I didn’t have the time because I may have done some serious over thinking. Now some of you probably did a facepalm after you read what my response was. “You said THAT to a guy you were interested in?” Yep!

I drove home from the gym that night and did some reflecting. Looking back I realize I felt intimidated by that question when it was asked but I am thankful I didn’t know he was going to ask me that. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that by anyone. What a nice opportunity to test your gut and heart. Had I known or been prepared for the question I may not have responded so boldly and bluntly. However, when you really think about it…that is my story and those are the elements on the surface of my heart in this phase of my life. Let’s break it down.

I’m a single mom…

The role of a single mom is the most important role I have right now and every decision I make every day pivots off of that role. I’m proud  of it and I’m scared as hell of it…but it’s my role and I wouldn’t exchange anything to be a mom to my amazing little nugget.

I’m divorced…

yep, let’s just slap a big ole D on my forehead. I’m not ashamed to be divorced because I was proud to marry the man I married. Being divorced does not mean you made a mistake. It merely means your legal transaction has been legally modified. My divorce has helped me define myself in such a deeper way than getting married did. It took me to a new depth emotionally and I’m still uncovering all of that. I can honestly say even though it was/is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through I’m glad it happened.

I live and work in Muncie…

Living and working here in town is another thing I’m extremely passionate about. This is my home town and I’ve lived in some amazing places outside of here including Chicago and North Carolina. Being here means being close to family and some of my dearest and oldest friends. It also means I have an opportunity to give back to my community in my work and in my philanthropic efforts. Being in a position to do that has lit a fire inside of me that I haven’t felt since getting married. When you are as passionate as I am and you lose your passion…it’s a big deal when you get it back.

So, yes I’m a single mom, I’m divorced, and I live and work here in my hometown. That is my story right now and I’m damn proud of it.

So, if someone were to ask you what your story was, what would you say? Seriously…take a moment and think about what your raw, quick, 5 second response would be. Then reflect on your response. Is it what you WANT your story to be? If not…what can you do to set forth on a journey to get to where you want to be.  Or do you even know what your story is? It’s ok if you don’t and probably pretty common. Set out to find it! Our stories are who we are. They are the foundation of the people we become.

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