During a quick trip to Target over the holiday, I ran into an old friend of whom I hadn’t spoken in years.  Her life had taken huge unexpected turns and she shared some of the challenges.  As we chatted, in that whirlwind way you do—when you have too much to say and not enough time to visit—she casually mentioned, “You’ve always said that ‘everyone has a story'”.

We wrapped up our chat with a hug and a promise to reconnect soon. As I finished my shopping, her words kept bouncing around in my mind.

Everyone has a story that story matters.

Stories paint engaging pictures of a person’s soul.  I find myself wondering how they’ve navigated life’s troubled waters.  As I listen to their story, I can’t help but draw an image in my mind of the heroic spirit that lives inside them.

I ask myself: how would I have handled their journey? Would I have weathered it with as much courage, punk, passion, persistence… and from that analysis I realize I have a list of “heroes” who have guided me along the way.

Stories reveal heros.

No, not the Superman kind, but the ones that help us realize our “successes in life” is way more complex than most of us can really put our finger on. Many of my heroes have kicked the threat of failure straight in the face, pursued when the pursuit was the hardest thing they’d ever done and came out with a win on their side.  All because of their own heros.

Yes, of course I still think the Mother Theresa’s of the world are the best heroes. But, when I make my hero sub-list those ass-kicking-get-it-done-no-matter-what-it-takes people, always make the hero cut.  Who we define as a hero varies from person to person, situation to situation, and maybe just even from time to time. They are the ones that keep me going when failure taunts, when the pursuit seems too daunting and when I question if I’m worthy of a WIN in my column.

My own story involves a cape. Yes! The Wonder Woman kind!  Everyday life fills my hours; being a heroic mom to two very active teenage boys, being a hero daughter to honor the parents that raised me so well, being a leading lady to an amazing man who puts up with my spazoid ways, and being the very heroic sister, auntie, friend I can be to all my other loved ones.

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Now it’s YOUR turn!

You have a great story to tell with a hero in it.  Who is/are your hero(s)? Have YOU been a hero to others? Please share an experience that has changed you for the better in the comment section below.