Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Start of Something New

     We all grow up with the understanding that the media we consume, the stories that are told to us, are just that. Stories. They are fantastical accounts of events that were crafted to gain our attention and hold it until the resolution we didn't even know we wanted comes to pass. We know that fairy tales are, indeed, just tales. Rapunzel didn't grow her hair so long that it allowed her valiant prince to climb up into her lonely tower and rescue her. Lowly David did not slew the giant Goliath with one stone. We know in our minds that the words are exaggerated, but our hearts believe the entire story to be true. This is where our hope is born. In stories. We keep reading these stories -- or, in the digital age, we watch these movies and TV dramas -- to periodically fill ourselves us with that hope again. To fool ourselves into believing our tasks will always be straightforward, our demons to fight will always be outside ourselves, and that true love can happen instantly and last forever, come whatever may.

     I like to think of myself as a little bit more grounded than that. While I do enjoy my fairy tales and what they can teach me, I don't truly believe my life will unfold like one. I do not have an evil stepmother, no objects I come into contact with will be enchanted, I do not have a Prince Charming I'm destined to meet. Those things, they're easy to discard. My life is far removed from cottages deep in the woods. Where this becomes trickier, is when the stories are more modern. It's a little harder to convince myself that events are fantastical and can't come true, when they happen to be so mundane that they certainly could. Where this becomes hardest is when the story doesn't even have a happy ending. So much of our everyday lives are just that: every day. There is no ending, happy or otherwise. Good things happen and bad things happen; stories are beginning and ending all the time and most of us will never know it because those days look just like any other.

     I don't let myself believe that my life is a story worth telling, because there isn't much about me to tell. I have had my joys, I have had my struggles, I have had much more mediocrity than I have ever had extraordinary. So why, now, am I even writing this? Because in examining other stories, the modern tales that could so easily fit into any of our lives, I have found some that resonate. I have found stories that depict experiences so much like my own that they're uncanny. I couldn't keep telling myself I was ordinary and unremarkable when apparently parts of my life were absolutely the makings a of a story worth telling.

     I find myself unable to leave this thought alone. Is my life a story worth telling? I have learned so much from what I'd seen and heard, couldn't my experience help someone else, too? Was it silly to think so much of myself or shameful to withhold it? To keep that little bit of hope that could maybe fill up someone else?

     What could it hurt to tell my tale?