There are two sides to every coin, just as there are two sides to every story. I feel people are the same way. I love meeting new people and I’m fascinated by their stories. It may come as a surprise to those who know me but I was painfully shy as a child. I was born in Louisiana. It was very rural. If you can picture Loretta Lynn’s childhood home in Butcher Holler…then you have a pretty good idea. When we lived back in the woods on Big Creek, we could go days without seeing other people. I’m still a little traumatized remembering all the snakes. We eventually moved from the creek, a few miles up the road. We were planted in the middle of a cotton field. I’m the youngest of three. My brother, sister and I had many great adventures through these fields.
At the age of seven, we left it all behind. My family and I moved to a tourist town in Montana called West Yellowstone. It is the west entrance into Yellowstone National Park, located 30 miles from Old Faithful. This is where I consider home and the place that truly shaped me. Tourist from all over the world flood through this tiny town every summer. It’s quite amazing if you experience the transition from winter to summer. This is truly where I flipped the coin and outgrew my shyness. I definitely overcame being shy and developed a fascination with all the people who traveled so far to see Yellowstone. I loved visiting with them. They were from all around the world. I was intrigued, listening to the differing languages being spoken and observing the smallest glimpse into their cultures.
Although I don’t live in a tourist town anymore, I still find joy in talking to people. Meeting new people is so interesting to me, especially when they allow you in…even to catch a glimpse. I am moved by other peoples journey. We all have a story but we’ve gotta make the decision to flip the coin and let people in. Let others see us, including myself. And…we all need reminders to take the time to actually HEAR someone else’s story.
Flip a coin. Start a conversation.
Take the time.