When I was young, I used to sit and think about things that would boggle my mind. Like, what if there were other earths and people in the universe? If every star was a sun with its own solar system, that would mean there were millions of other earths out there! And what if there were more universes? Or, conversely, what if nothing ever existed? That one was really a brain buster--I would sit there and concentrate as mightily as I could until I almost felt like I didn't exist.
Was I a strange child? (Don't answer that.)
One of my favorite things to think about was other people-- I was (and still am) quite the people watcher. I love to watch perfect strangers in a public place and realize that they have a life. They have parents. Children. A job. They went to school somewhere. They have friends. That random guy driving the car that just passed mine? He has a life! And so does the woman sitting in the stands on TV at the football game. And all the people in airports. They have lives, too.
I don't know why that was particularly mind-boggling to me, but it was. Maybe because as a child you are usually in your own small universe and it is hard to comprehend that there are things that go on outside of your realm. But, suffice it to say, I thought about this particular topic a lot.
Everyone has a story. And I kind of love learning the stories of the people I meet. Which is (obviously) one of the reasons that blogging appeals to me so much.
A few months ago, I was asked by the people at Time Out For Women (tofw.com) to be one of their contributing writers. At first I thought I might get to ramble on and on about my own life, but clearly they felt I do that enough already. Instead they asked me to find inspiring LDS women and to write stories about them for their Women Like You feature. Initially, I thought that perhaps finding women to write about would be the most difficult part of the job, but as I sat down and thought about it, I realized that indeed, everyone has a story. So many of my friends have inspiring and uplifting experiences to share. Or struggles that they have overcome or are working to overcome. The hard part has been doing justice to their stories.
My latest article went up yesterday and I want to tell you a little bit about my friend Marianne before you go read it. Marianne and her husband were in our ward when we were first married. They did not yet have children, and we had Bria. We always sat with them at church and Bria loved them. Marianne started to bring books and things for Bria and she really looked forward to it--sometimes I think she liked Marianne and Ryan more than she liked us! Then, when I was pregnant and ill with Chloe, Marianne told me she would be helping with Bria as much as she could. She really taught me a lot about how to serve others. Later, both of our husbands began doctoral degrees in different areas of the country and we really only kept in touch with Christmas cards. One of the other reasons I have loved blogging is that it has given me the opportunity to keep in touch with all of the many friends I have who are all over the country, and when Marianne began a blog I was very excited to read it. That is when I learned of her struggle with depression.
When I thought about women to write about, Marianne was one of the first that came to mind. I was so happy when she agreed to share her story, and like I said before, I hope I did it justice in the 500 or so words I am allowed. One thing is for certain, I learned a lot just from the questions that Marianne answered for me, and I am thankful for her wisdom and her faith. Depression is something that perhaps doesn't get enough "air time." I think all of us could use a little more education on the subject, whether we struggle with it ourselves, or whether we need to develop more compassion for those who do.
The link to the article is here: Was My Depression Real?
(And, you know, if you have any women whose stories are inspiring and something many women would relate to and you think they'd be willing to be featured....let me know.)