I’m a sucker for stories. From the time that I was a little girl, I’ve always loved reading books and escaping into another universe, one where I wasn’t the center of the story. Even now, I still love reading from my favorite fiction authors’ books. One is never too old for any book. It’s exhilarating to experience life from a different point of view, simply due to the fact that I’ve never experienced any life but my own.

In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a book. I’ve noticed a recent obsession of mine is hearing other people’s stories. I love hearing where people come from and what has shaped them to be the person they are today. I cannot remember a case where I didn’t grow to love the person more.

Here’s the deal. I still don’t know who I am. I’m 15. I am aware that I have no handle on this crazy thing called life. I have a wide set of talents, involving academics, sports, and music. Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with trying to figure out which of those three broad areas I am most interested in, so I can best prioritize my time (see my last post). All of this stress is self-induced, yes, but once my head starts thinking, it doesn’t exactly like to stop. I feel above average in a lot of areas, yet not motivated enough to be amazing at anything… if that makes any sense. Writing that sentence down felt like the epitome of first world problems. But it’s true. I feel stuck, with no clear path to follow. At this point in my life, I’m just kind of doing everything –school, sports, and music– to see where I feel most comfortable.

This all leads up to why I love stories. As I explained, I’ve got no idea how to live my life (I still can’t believe I’ve made it a whole 15 years). The way I learn is by observing. I love to watch and listen. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I’ve been in the middle of TONS of conversations. You’d think I’d get bored. You’d be wrong. I could seriously listen to conversations for hours, soaking up every syllable. I take in each word, learning and applying. That’s why hearing about people’s backgrounds is so great. I learn about what made them who they are, what they choose as their identity. I observe what they have done and are doing, apply that in my own life, and develop my own version. I guess I’ve just sort of hoped that one of these days, someone’s going to tell me their story and it’ll suddenly click. Boom. I choose music. Boom. I choose writing. Boom. I choose ministry (although I have been warned extensively about this particular field. ;).

The truth is, that hasn’t happened, and it probably won’t. I have to decide. I’ve got several more years to decide, luckily. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t need to figure it all out. Instead of always planning ahead, it might be a good idea to take a step back and enjoy the amazing stage of life I’m in now, which is packed full of adventures just waiting to happen.

3 Replies to “Stories”

  1. So I’m not sure if I’m really supposed to be doing this, but hey what the heck! I already wrote something and tried to post it but I exited to early. What I basically wanted to say is that I hope that this is Madison gotthardt. What I just read was magical. I can relate and understand and agree with everything you said, especially the part where you don’t know how to run your life. Same here. I’m just hoping that the book of my life will be continuously written while I just sit back and read it. In that book I hope that it will be a roller coaster that only goes up, but as we know, roller coasters must go downhill at some point otherwise they are no fun. When that roller coaster decides to descend downwards, I will hopefully be ready so that the butterflies don’t travel from my stomach, up my throat and into a pile of vomit. (Sorry for that picture). I hope that the vomit never comes up because I’m sure that nobody wants to clean up vomit, especially me. Madison I hope you see this and that this you. What you wrote above proves that your bio is not wrong….you have got heart


  2. Awesome thoughts and reflections. I can totally relate – I called myself a “jack of many trades, master of none.” One of my biggest frustrations was not knowing who I am and what I wanted to do. The latter may have at last fallen into place, just within the past few months… I never thought I’d be figuring it out still at 26! And only time will tell if this will stay. For me, I never got the clear “Boom. This is it.” I just got the very next step in front of me, which sometimes involved a small choice (e.g. HS soccer tryouts were the same day as the band’s trip to Disneyland…). And I never saw beyond until I walked through the step in front of me. It’s crazy to now look back, and my direction looks so clear all along. I just had no idea at the time.

    I like Bob Goff’s thoughts on the subject:
    “I don’t think God is giving me the silent treatment because He’s mad. I think God’s hope and plan for us is pretty simple to figure out. For those of you who resonate with formulas, here it is: add your whole life, your loves, your passions, and your interests together with what God says He wants us to be about, and that’s your answer. . .Plus I think God knows that if I found out more than just the direction He was going, I’d probably try to beat Him there.”


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