So, as coworkers and I are packaging pasta today at a volunteer event, one of my coworkers is asking people “what’s your story?” We meet a guy who grew up in Minnesota, went to college in Minnesota, met a girl in college, married her and now they’re raising two sons out in the suburbs. He’s got a nice office job, his wife’s a teacher, there is talk of parents and in-laws who are still married, teaching kids to ride bikes, date nights.
And then…the question eventually turns to me. Jennifer…What’s your story? And I cringe. Plenty of people know huge chunks of my story, it’s not like I’ve never told it before. But, it doesn’t fit into a neat little package that my coworkes can all relate to. Do I skip the nitty gritty and just give a brief, sanitized synopsis? Even then, even when I just say something as simple as I have two little girls – I end up getting this look of pity that I don’t want when it comes out that I’m a single mom. Then, inevitably they ask how old my kids are, I say 13 and 10 – and get the same, REALLY – how old are you?!
Do you ever get asked, What’s your story? and experience the temptation to totally fabricate the story you wish you had to tell? The one where you did everything “right,” where your life doesn’t sound like an after-school special and your family doesn’t sound like they belong on Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil? Today I steered clear from feeling like I overshared, I managed to not get the Wow – your life is so…interesting (what they really mean is f#cked up!)
Today I managed to just give a few random facts until the conversation went in another direction. But, as I continue to write the next chapter of My Story, I am less and less thrilled to tell the first few chapters even though I know they were essential to character development.
- User:LaraeNyzqnoasce (wiki.mozilla.org)