There is a story that exists in each of us. It is our own personal story, brought forth from our own lives, our own experiences, and our own trials. It is a story that no one else can tell.

In a world of over seven billion individuals, your story is your own, and you continue to write it each day. You give it meaning and verse, you give it rhyme and reason, you give it conflict and resolution. You choose the lens through which it is viewed, and you decide also, how to present it to others.

In your story there are protagonists and antagonists. There are heroes and villains. There is the entire cycle of life and death. And it is yours to tell. And the most beautiful thing about your story is that it isn’t over yet.

Go to a graveyard and look at the tombstones and grave markers. Each has a name, a date of birth, and a date of death. That is their story. It is etched there, in its fullness, complete. It’s now a closed book, whose chapters have been written and put away, most never again to be read.

But what about you? Your story isn’t finished yet. Looking back at the years you’ve lived so far, you may see victory and tragedy, success and defeat, gain and loss. But this is still only part of the story. You’re still alive, and may have many years yet left on this earth. Your story isn’t complete. In those coming years you can create the rest of your own story, write your own lines, introduce and dismiss a range of characters, face many challenges, and find countless resolutions. There will be much in your story that will be out of your control, but that is OK. There is still a very large part where you can direct and shape your story as you will. That is the part that is molded by your own perception.

Is the job loss a tragedy or an opportunity? Is the new person in your life significant or not? How do you find a way through the morass of the present into the life you’ve imagined? Is your tale going to be a sad tragedy or a great adventure?

It’s your own unique rise to the challenges of your life where your story truly lies. It’s how you face those moments of drama, of conflict, of challenge, that makes life worth living and the story worth telling.
The ending isn’t always a fairytale ending; this is true. Life just isn’t designed that way. There are defeats, and sometimes the hero loses. But that’s OK. It’s still part of a wonderful story. It’s wonderful because it’s yours, and no one can tell it but you.

Seven billion lives, seven billion stories, and you have one that is uniquely your own. What will you write today?

Mark Husk is a sometimes teacher, sometimes student, and sometimes poet living in Fairmont WV with his cat, his hiking boots, and his favorite cast iron skillet. He is on the Executive Board of Seven Stories. His poems and other writings can be found at