I’m not actually telling a story in this picture, but I like that it looks like I am.
My story was on The Moth Podcast last week and I have to say thank you to all the very kind people from all over the world (!) that wrote me nice notes. It was probably my favorite part of the entire experience, as I am constantly in awe of our ability to communicate globally.
I love telling stories. It’s something I’ve been doing for years, before this current push of storytelling popularity began. The fact that it is big right now has opened up opportunities for me to do it more often and for more people.
One thing I love about it is that it really teaches you about humanity. I generally don’t fit in; not completely. I have a good deal of friends and even more very friendly acquaintances, but I don’t quite fit. It’s something I’m more and more comfortable with as I get older (if you’re kind of a weirdo, but you embrace the stuff that comes your way, aging is totally awesome). Telling stories allows me to make sense of myself and my place in the world. It shows me what we most have in common. It constantly reminds me that we are all just people doing the best we can.
It has also driven home a lesson that I was already learning; the more difficult and upsetting you find life to be, the more it is probably your own expectations that are the cause of your pain. So to be able to share something that was such a fantastic and difficult experience was an honor.
If you are interested in telling stories, I encourage you to do so, with one caveat: please don’t get up there and try to tell stories because you think you are just such an interesting person. I don’t tell stories for that reason, which I am sure sounds weird considering I get on stage and just tell true stories about me. I do it because I feel like putting words to these feelings and experiences, getting people to see an understand why or how something happened, is my strong suit. It means a lot to me to be able to do it. Share what you learned, share your perspective and feelings, tell us about who you are and where you came from, but for gods sakes, please don’t just get up there and go “look at me!” There are other places for that.