so over the past few weeks, i've been thinking about people's stories. not just any kind - but the kind that people tell about the things that define them, that make them who they are. their personal narratives. at work, i've been finding out all of these super-interesting facts about people's lives; one of my coworkers is a jazz singer, another one has his black belt, and yet another taught high school before she came to work at the university. all of their experiences and histories - no matter how seemingly small - have contributed somehow to who they are today, and i think that's super interesting.
or maybe i'm just a huge creeper.
a bit of my own back-story behind this whole idea - i started university as an english major but dropped as soon as i discovered that one of the prerequisites was 'approaches to english grammar'. (how many approaches can there be!? i was taught in grade six that there was one - the teacher's approach.) i took sociology instead and, over the course of my studies, i'd encountered the notion of the personal narrative and how, with the advent of new and wonderful forms of technology, it's evolved in several different ways.
(stay with me here, this isn't an academic essay. it's goin somewhere - i promise!)
with the advent of blogging/twitter/facebook/msn and all of the other creative and techy ways to keep in touch, old-school critics have lamented the diminishing amount of daily face-to-face interaction (admit it - how often have you sent an email to a coworker who's office is just around the corner from you?), mostly because it reduces the number of chances that we have to chat. chatting turns to discussion, which eventually helps you get to know people and their lives and their stories, and somewhere during that process, their personal narrative is formed. in turn, when shared, these narratives can help us learn and develop ourselves in ways we might not have the chance to do while limiting ourselves to online interactions alone.
furthermore, let's be honest - more often than not, people heavily edit what they publish to the web. (case in point: how many people put a positive spin on their blog content or facebook updates?) to a certain extent, it's necessary to maintain readers. after all - nobody likes a debbie downer. but at the same time, it leaves me (and i'm gonna make a massive generalization here and expand it to 'us') sometimes feeling inadequate. we start comparing ourselves to everyone else, based on what we see and read.
and this, i think, is absolute crap. i find that my favourite blogs to read are ones that, while including great creative content of all shapes and sizes, also includes posts about their lives, including some of the less glossy-magazine-page type of content.
and so, instead of featuring the traditional question/answer feature interviews, i'd like to delve a bit deeper into those things that helped make you the way you are. it doesn't have to involve a tragic or earth-moving incident of some sort. big or small, simple or otherwise. heck - it could just be about how your love of gardening helps keep you grounded when you're stressed. whatever. i'd love to feature some of that kind of information about the oh-so-talented bloggers and artists and other types of awesome peeps out there.
in short: everyone has a story. what's yours?
email me (notice my new lil email link in the left column!) and let's talk.