Childhood Motivations to Understand Stories
Updated: Mar 30
As a child, I was driven to discover what a story is, and if I, personally, had a story, and if I did have a story, what was it? I was looking for something that would make sense of the life I was living and the experiences I was having, I wanted to ‘fit’ into the stories I was being told, I wanted to see myself in them. If I could see myself in them, then that could help point me in a direction forward.
But I couldn’t see myself in them.
My experience of life was disjointed, broken, shard-like events that didn’t link up. You never knew when the s..t was going to hit the fan and as the youngest and only female sibling, I was particularly vulnerable. Existing under that level of stress all of the time, meaning or ‘sense’ is not possible.
Later on, my style of writing would become ‘island-like’, just bits and sections that didn’t add up to a story, which was how I experienced life.
I was drawn to series, to repetitions – both as soothing mechanisms (if it didn’t make sense, it could at least repeat itself), and as a way to keep circling around the crux of the matter, to keep looking at it over and over again in the hopes that some new knowledge would come out of it, and I could unlock it and be set free by it.
It is the search for sense and cohesion that eventually led me to breaking apart stories into pieces to see what they were made of.
Researching how stories were made was fueled by my need to put the story of my own life together out of its pieces.