Sunday, March 15, 2009

stories and impressions left behind....


You ask me to tell you a story about myself. I choose a single stream, fill it with my version of who I am and set it afloat. Some of the descriptives I use are my best attempt at capturing the complexity of my essence. Some are added to enhance the mood I want to convey. Depending on where I am emotionally, physically, spiritually my descriptives can radically alter the impression left behind. Depending on where, when, how and why I am telling this story of me, it will release a different flavour. ALL of those aspects play a part in the presentation. Faster than a flick of a switch the story changes scenes.
You ask me to tell you a story about myself. How well do I know you? How comfortable am I with you? Do I want to let you into the most intimate circle which surrounds me? How much time do we have? You want a postcard scribbling or a novel? Do you really want to know, or is it your job to ask me?? Or are you simply nosey?

  • I tell you a story about myself at 4 in the morning when time stretches deeply into the well.......
  • I tell you the same story at 2 in the afternoon over a cup of coffee during a break..........
  • I write the same story out in an email to you and click send........


  • I drum up a story as a way to express myself during a job interview as an elaboration on a point.
  • I drum up the same one sitting across from you drinking a pint at a pub on a Friday night as an elaboration on a point i am trying to make.....
  • I write the same one on my blog and click publish....
the same facts....right? It should be the same story, shouldn't it?

I could choose to give you simple facts.....the ones which really stay within the broadly accepted boundaries of decorum. I decide to step beyond that border and I take a risk by adding feeling and maybe a few disclosures I rarely share with anyone. Either way, I still select my story, simple or complex....... it's still a thin slice.

I am not my story. It is a part of me, but it is not who i am. It may not even by how I am really feeling. I may keep those true feelings to myself and mask them with face paste.
Well, I grew up in a small town with my parents and two sisters. I went to a small university. Then, I went to an even smaller university. I got married when I was 27. I have two kids. I work.
or how about.........

Let's see......I was fortunate to grow up in a loving family who were always supportive of my crazy dreams, who fed and nurtured my insatiable need to learn and to try new things.....They knew how to help me mold my independent wings and not clip them..... and so on.........

I'm much more than my story..... though if i continue to tell the same one over and over again even if the venue changes, or the time of day, or the tone........if i get stuck in this perpetual self-image, i'll begin to believe in the one dimensional script I have created. There are layers upon layers of my narrative which consist of domains I have yet to delve into. The mirror I hold up only skims the surface....deep inside are dreams and fantasies, feelings full of fear, love, pain, joy, sorrow....feelings that hold enough energy to sustain and heat a whole neighbourhood of imaginative folly fraught with flowing streams of conscious and unconscious thoughts and behaviour. I can only offer you a sampling and only from what I know myself.



I choose the buffet and how it is laid out. And if I do it right and pick the story most worthy of sharing.........if I choose the very best words and the most applicable feelings to set the tone.....if I choose the right place, the right time, I can provide an unending thread of my identity steeped in the delicate taste of a mystery unfolding. I can provide the bridge to further exploration into a deeper understanding of each other. Depending on what you want. Depending on where you are at....you may not want this. Then what??
This is what I can control....what I share of me and how I share it. I have no control over how you receive it. Or not? It seems to me we all have the ability to play with other's emotions. If I want your pity, for example, I can choose to use descriptives and a tone which illicits this....in writing, in speeches, in interviews, in conversations, in emails, on blogs.....in all ways that we communicate. And what is shocking about this is that I may not even be cognizant of this tactic because I may be feeling sorry for myself and stuck in that one dimension.

Words litter our pathway to understanding one another. We use them and abuse them. We hoard them and we spill them like water tumbling over the falls..... Words are our floral impression we can offer in love, but we all know they can be as sharply serated as a carving knife. We enhance, entice, exhilarate, express...... however its never the words on their own which tell our version of our story. It's the context with which they are used. Its the tone, the tempo, the timing. Its the reason behind the story which sits in the fabric we drape our words in.
You ask me to tell you a story about myself? If I can, I will try my best to be authentic, direct, honest. I will try my best to choose a thread from my tapestry which holds the key to my imagination, my hopes and my fears. I will try to find a story within myself you may find interesting....one which you may be able to relate to...one which best describes where I am in that moment. Because if I can, then perhaps we can move in closer to the truth of kinship.


It is all I can give you. If you don't like what I have to say? If it doesn't resonate with you....there is nothing more I can offer you is there? I must choose carefully. Though my story may not be ALL of who I am, it is what I can offer you. And if I don't choose carefully, I am left holding the dangling thread.
Alone.

4 comments:

Debb said...

Hello,
I happened across your site via a friend, what a wonderful blog! May I stick around?

Cheers, Deb

Awareness said...

Good morning Deb. You are always Welcome! I hope you drop by again.

ps. I left you a comment. I thought i had left it on your most recent post, but I think I inadvertently left it on a much earlier one after I read some of your posts. sorry about that.

Mark said...

Great writing. Any story you tell would be incomplete, simply a vignette of who you are.

Awareness said...

Mark...you have offered me two great words this week which for some reason sit high in my imagination....resonate and vignette. ;) I'll have to let them swirl in my noggin for a bit.

thank you for the feedback.