Once upon a time…I have never been good at telling stories! I don’t particularly like talking about myself. I watch people get bored and fade out about three sentences in. I tend to see events in chronological order with details of occurrence, rather than with overarching thematic elements and character development. When I am around a campfire, or hanging out on a friend’s deck or patio and stories start to weave their way from a heart into the atmosphere like an ember floating gently out of a fire–as is generally the natural progression in scenarios like that–I start to feel anxious. I worry that someone will put me on the spot or ask me to tell about a time such and such happened. I hate being put on the spot, and I freeze up and wish I was anywhere but there in that moment. And then I get so worried about myself I sometimes forget to listen to and enjoy the story being told.
Well, as you can imagine, I don’t like that. And I do want to improve. I’d rather be able to tell a story than to avoid situations where I might have to. I have a number of theories as to why I get that way: insecurities and lack of confidence, I don’t have a good memory, I get interrupted a lot and it makes me feel unheard and not want to share, I don’t like drama nor exaggerating facts, I’m boring and don’t have any good stories, I have a good portion of my past that I don’t exactly relish, and so on. Again, I’d rather embrace the moment, accept myself as I am, and do my best with the impromptu story prompt.
But I am not there yet. So in an effort to at least start the process of figuring out how to tell my own stories with my own flair and personal style, I have meagerly begun to write about some of my own experiences and encounters. I just added a new ‘stories’ page to start posting a few of them. I am not at all confident about this decision, and feel like its too vulnerable. But those two things hint to me that it is a good idea, because it will challenge me and I will likely grow through it.
It will be perfectly fine with me if you don’t read them. They are still in my opinion, very chronological, step-by-step, “can we please get to the punch line already!” formats. If you do read them though, I only ask for two things: 1) Grace and patience & 2) honest, constructive feedback if you have the time–what you like, what you don’t like, what’s missing, what would really bring a story home, how I could start it with a more interesting statement and tie it in later, why I should delete everything I’ve written and do it another way, etc.
I know many of you love stories and are great at telling them. I admire you, am envious of you, and want to learn from you! So here goes nothing. Or everything. …hopefully at least something!