A Story worth retelling 2

tumblr_npg9vf7aoe1qfirfao1_1280Hi Friend,

Here is a question:

If I were telling a story about my days on this earth, would it be a story worth retelling?

I don’t have a definite answer yet, but I hope the answer would be yes.

I am a simple test and a significant oath away from being an Australian Citizen. In my life story, this would be its own chapter. It would probably be titled “Searching the World, Finding a Kangaroo” and it would be all about this big brown land and how it found me and kept me for a while; it’s people and how they have found their way into my fifth culture kid heart. There would be funny anecdotes  that tell tales of the first time I tried vegemite or heard the word ‘arvo’.

But let’s skip back a couple of chapters.

I landed four years ago on Australia Day. I grew up on a desert Island, but the Australian Summer was brutal for me. Here I was, stepping off a plane with a man crush, who I just vowed my whole life to, quite literally on the other side of the world of anything familiar to me. I was out of my comfort zone and I was excited.

You see, every other time my story had taken me out of my comfort zone, it proved to be an adventure from the start. So I had no doubt that this would be the same.

But this is the thing about our life story- we write some chapters and sometimes, some chapters write us.

Chapter 26: What to expect when you are not expecting: a manifesto for the newly married dreamer wimp.

I (foolishly) imagined my first-year marriage chapter would read true to the common fairy tale ending “And they lived happily ever after”. I imagined new beginnings- searching for a new apartment, exploring the new city, picking out paint colors and making love to a slow Usher song.
But the reality was this: we couldn’t afford to move out of his parent’s home, this city and I just did not understand each other, I couldn’t find a job and my forever man crush did not like RnB.


It was at this intersection that I gave up on my story and my chapter started writing itself. In the middle of our first adventure, when it got too hard when my expectations were not met when I had the choice to keep dreaming amidst the new reality or wimp out – I chose wimp.
It was like a bad movie. I was the anti-hero. You know the part of the movie where the music gets hauntingly melodic and the magic happens? There was no magic. When faced with adversity I didn’t run up and down the stairs like Rocky. I withered and fell into deep sadness and chose a slow boring classical song to play in the background. I am not proud of it, but it is the truth. And sometimes the best we can do is face the truth, say sorry, grab the pen out of life’s hand and start writing a new chapter.

It took a while for a self-written chapter to emerge as part of my story. There were three more chapters mostly about mixed emotions, weight gain, fighting, and tears. But by Chapter 30, I was writing myself. I sometimes even published without spell check. I was living boldly and on the edge; still out of my comfort zone but also, starting to dream again.

I have started to say more ‘yes’ and less ‘I don’t know’. I have started to try. When all I hear in the world news is one horrible story followed by the next, I have vowed again to STORY UP. Storying up looks a bit like this…

Fighting my fatigue and climbing the stairs
Making magic with the ordinary
Dreaming about a bright future
Working with reality, not denying it
Showing the wimp in me the back door
Smiling at a stranger and
Saying thank you often

In short, stringing together moments that make my story worth re-telling.

So, here is a question:

If you were telling a story about your days on this earth, would it be a story worth retelling?I hope the answer would be yes.

What makes you drop the pen? What makes the best chapters of your life?



About Riyanka Panditha

Hello. I am Riyanka. Commonly referred to as “Ria” and daily loved by my family and friends. I am a child of God, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. I love to sing, dance in the rain and make single servings of cake. I am known for my listening skills and my lack of response to Facebook messages. You can follow my writing more over at www.riyankaleah.com I was born in India, raised in the middle east, spent my most growing years in the US, married the hottest Sri-Lankan Australian hunk and moved to Perth, Western Australia 4 years ago! Life is extravagant, yet simple. Extravagant in love, simple in things. Just the way I like it :)

2 thoughts on “A Story worth retelling

  • Karen Wilson

    Beautifully written Ria. Somewhere our paths crossed between chapter 26 and 30 and I am so much the better off because of that.
    Thank you for your honesty and courage. Keep taking a deep breath and keep saying ‘yes’ – may the adventures continue.

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