Each of us is a storyteller. We tell our tales to our friends with big belly laughs over beers at our Summer Barbeques. We tell our children tales of our memories from our childhood about spinach and bullies. And we tell ourselves stories about our competency and our past woes and our futures possibilities.
Everyone is entitled to tell their story. Right, wrong, half told or badly told, it is still yours to tell however you want to. And in doing so you can keep what you love and edit the heck out of the rest. It’s yours to tell and yours to rewrite.
But yesterday, I realized there’s a third choice. You can embellish. You can create a magic that you didn’t have before with details that may be slightly true but add a lot of pizzazz.
Eamon had to fill out a questionnaire that asked what his favorite food/snack was. He said he didn’t really know. Then Mark said he was in a seminar yesterday where everyone was asked to give a highlight of their life. He said “being a Dad” but realized that was kinda boring but he had just blanked out. He said he could have mentioned touring the world with the Michael Jackson History tour.
I thought about how there’s a culture of personality online where you see people condensed to their absolutes. They have fabulous catch words such as Kelly Rae’s “possibilitarian”. They have edited pictures and manicured lives. Meanwhile and comparatively, we feel so dull, we don’t even know our favorite color or food or what’s interesting about us. That’s because we’re thinking truthfully.
Truthfully, life’s a little dull. It can be funny but it’s dull. The drama is up to us. So why don’t we just inject it ourselves. Why don’t we each spin ourselves a little and make it more fun. Playwrights take liberties and that’s what we really are. Authors of our life scripts.
Why can’t we take a few minutes and come up with a cheat sheet for ourselves on ourselves to amuse just ourselves. So when people ask what do you want to be when you grow up, you can give them something to think about. I want to create a new national holiday devoted to laughter. Like Trade Jokes Day. This week, my favorite food is egg rolls and Oreos. As always I still remain devoted to gravy, crunchy Cheetos, and really nice olive oil. Next week, schnitzel and nutty buddies.
I decided my favorite colors are Aubergine, Tangerine, and Emerald Green. These sound really cool together. And you can’t just pick one. Eamon said his was Maroon. I told him my theory and suggested Ox Blood instead. He said he’ll think about it. He’s the kid who had a favorite three digit number and is constantly asking you what your’ favorite Star Wars character/Yugio card/super hero is.
I’m so serious and so honest most of the time that I’m missing an opportunity to play. And to be ready when someone asks me those questions that make me feel like I suddenly have to know myself deeply, which I never feel like I do. Instead, I can give them a story and let them sort it out. Because instead of cringing, we should be having fun telling our stories.
Love this, Shalagh! Yes, we should all have the story our way. I find it hardest to make this stuff about myself thinking it is so silly. In truth, maybe it’s a matter of doing some inward looking, soul searching. People love fun and quirky, it seems. If it comes from you, there must be some truth to it. I love your colors. I, too, enjoy quality olive oils.
Thank You Amy. People do love quirky don’t they though. So our boring selves need to come up with stuff. Especially since we’re writers! No excuse there.
What you had to say really resonates with me. Right now as so often I am battling the feeling that everyone else is interesting and although I have a lot to share it just seems locked away. The art of finding your true self is a difficult endeavor and expressing oneself seems to me an exponentially greater one. I hope to gain the freedom and courage to tell my story…what ever that may be.
Ryan, It gives me no greater pleasure than to know that something I said, based on a truth I feel, has helped move a tumbler inside your story lock. I can almost taste the sweet freedom of being me out loud without a care for what anyone else thinks. Because the truth usually is that they think I’m pretty cool. And the ones that don’t, I don’t need to impress anyways.