Thursday, September 4, 2008

Life Narratives

I'm not sure when it happens, but at some point we decide on our life narrative — a little story that we present to the world. It's helpful for social occasions. Hi, this is Tony. Tony is an accountant, he lives in Forest Hills, he has a family with two kids and he plays tennis every Sunday. Tony, this is Sarah. Sarah is an advertising account executive, has a convertible sports car, wears designer clothes and is pulling in over $140 grand a year. So what happens when Tony decides not to live in Forest Hill or leaves his family or wants to play golf? What happens when Sarah loses her job? Sometimes its easier to hold on to an old narrative. It's comfortable. It's familiar. He's the sporty one. She's the reader. But it's not necessarily who we are. We can also use it to excuse our shortcomings. 'I was never good with numbers' or 'My parents never taught me how to save money' or 'I blame...insert name here'. Sometimes we need to reassess our life narrative. Sometimes we outgrow it. It's easy just to keep the same narrative. It's easy to hide behind. But maybe much more fun to create a new one...

6 comments:

Emily said...

Hi KT. It's always interesting to hear what people say, what they choose to leave out, how they wish to be seen, when talking about their lives. This reminds me of the opening line of David Copperfield, a book which is very much about the theme of your post. (I admit I had to look it up for precise wording.)

'Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.'

karen tayleur said...

I guess he said it best...

Andrew's black dog blog said...

How would you write your life narrative - at this point in your life?

karen tayleur said...

My life narrative at present might go something like this: Wife of a man that still surprises me, mother of two interesting people, slack friend, avid reader, writer, editor.

Andrew's black dog blog said...

No tennis on Sunday?

karen tayleur said...

Andrew - would love to hear your life narrative....