Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I have sat down many times to write my story, and almost immediately I come to a hurdle. How do I write my story, while not writing anyone else's? If I were to record only the events that involved myself alone, I'd have merely a handful of pages of notes containing such actions as: "Started school on this date," "name of first boy I liked and all conversations---" wait, no, that wouldn't even work. Every story, any event in my life worth discussing, is shared by at least one other person.
My birth, for example, very obviously contains the two crucial characters of my mother and my father, yet that is the beginning of *my* story.
My elementary school years have a large cast of classmates, teachers, siblings and neighborhood kids.
Any mischief in which I could be found was closely associated with my best friend.
These stories, then, are not sole mine to reveal, not mine alone to tell. By revealing my end of any tale, I'm leaving all others that were a part of it in an involuntary position of vulnerability. Or, what could be worse: by telling my story, certain people will learn that certain events have shaped who I am today--events that were not meant to be part of my story form chapters in my life that are not listed on the table of contents for even the keenest eye to see.
But here we are. My story is a kaleidoscope of shards from the lives of others, just as pieces of my story are intermingled with someone else's story. Every tear, every smile, every thought and every scene in my memory compiles to create a story that unique only to me. The question that I must ask, and with which I struggle: how honest should I be in telling my story, in revealing thoughts and memories most poignant to building my character, which are also most revealing about others?

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