I had to write my early life story as part of my training as a counsellor – several times. The first time I wrote it, I was captivated by it, and loved writing about me. I laughed; I cried; I raged along with the main character who was me on her journey through childhood.
The second time I wrote it a year later, I was still enthralled. And yet, I began to wonder if my recollection was all there was to it. The third time, I began to get interested in my story from others’ points of view, wondering how they viewed me in my growing-up years. The last time I wrote it, I had to force myself to do so – I’d simply lost interest in the story line.
As I rewrote that story, I began to notice that it changed slightly from version to version: I was 4 in it, then I was 7. It happened in North Dakota, then in Calgary. I created something new and delightful completely on my own, then in a later version I recalled it was from the suggestion of my mother. Another thing I began to notice was, while different from that of others’ in some ways, my story was remarkably similar to everyone else’s: if I viewed me from the viewpoint of an impartial observer, my actions appeared very different – sometimes not at all in a way I’d want to relate to.
That was humbling.
By the end of all this writing, I wasn’t interested in my childhood story with me as the hero. Instead, I’d become interested in the story with me as a typical human being learning and growing. That was and continues to be a huge support in wondering how my story continues. My childhood story was mostly a set of events I had little agency over. But my story going forward is all mine. Do I want agency? Do I want to follow the crowd? Do I want to blend in or stand out? Do I want to do something that excites or moves me? Or, do I want to play it safe?
How do you want your story to unfold?
Quote of the Week
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
How changing your story can change your life
I hope you enjoyed this article. When you’re ready to take the next step on your life journey, book a free 20 min consultation with me.