Thursday, September 17, 2015

Life Stories

We all want our story to be told and we all want to be remembered. As part of the 50th high school reunion, we were asked to tell our stories and about 75 people did so. I found this interesting because in our 1965 yearbook we asked people to put in a baby picture and about 50 people did. 

I submitted my biography to the 50th reunion committee, not because I wanted to write my own biography, but because I was curious to see what others had made of their lives and how they told their stories. The published stories came in last week and I am still working through them. They are all interesting and say a great deal about the people who wrote them. 

The story of our life, or our life story, is the narrative you tell in response to requests such as "tell us what you have done since high school", or "what you want to be written in you obituary".  If you think about your story as a narrative you would focus on three things. 

The first depends on what you want the people you know to take from your story You will most probably not say the same things your family or friends as you might to colleagues.

The second is the amount of space you have, in most cases we are limited by space. There is always much more to tell to any one person or group than time and space permits; you say what you think others are willing to listen to about you. In the end, most of us never really tell our whole story - not even to ourselves. 

The third is/should be the do we look at the whole picture. Most of us never really look at our whole live story from beginning to end and all the pieces in the middle in any one sitting. 

So we really never pay attention to what we say about ourselves. We never pay attention to how and why we have woven our story together the way we do. So we miss out on the chance to tie the narrative of our lives together into a cohesive whole.  Sometimes we don’t even pay attention to what we say to see if it is really true. 

I found the process of writing a short biography challenging and interesting. We all have a story to tell; take some time and start writing your story down. Your family and friends will thank you for this special gift you give them.

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