I am not a huge fan of telling people personal details about my life – especially random strangers on the internet (sorry folks), but let me give you a glimpse. When I was watching Kurt Vonnegut talk about the shape of stories, I started wondering how I would draw my graph. My life has been a series of constant ups and downs, and looks nothing like the graphs he drew. I think it would look something like this:
While there have been many, many highs in my life, there have also been dramatic lows. I think most stories that we see represented in the media have a happy ending. When watching a movie, there is usually a conflict, a resolution, and then a happy ending for the characters involved. Of course, most people don’t want to see a bad ending for the characters that they form a connection with, but that is sometimes the harsh reality for the real world. No one wants to watch a movie where the plot is a constant downhill battle with little to no resolution, because that doesn’t make for good film. The same goes for books – everyone loves a good plot twist and a happy ending when reading. We are conditioned to create plots that end happily as to give the reader/viewer resolution, but what if we changed that narrative? Would anyone be interested in something that has a bad ending? Or do we seek stories with happy endings in hopes that one day, our own story will have a happy ending?
I don’t think of myself as a story teller, just because I don’t think I am being 100% truthful when presenting myself online. No one needs to know every aspect of my life and I don’t share many details about myself personally on my social media. To be a storyteller, I feel that you have to be willingly open and honest about yourself (if you are writing about yourself, like we are in this class), and that is something that is hard for me. I am not one to post about my struggles or my life, so sharing my thoughts and reflecting on my life is something that might present a challenge for me since our theme for this class involves telling our personal story.