Sunday morning I’m scrolling through Facebook, drinking coffee in the kitchen table, getting ready for the day. I see a post that reminds me to make a change in the settings. I am rarely a fan of these posts, and today I decide that I have had enough. I took action. I go into my settings and disable the automatic pop-up for the “Memories”. You know the post. Here is something you did/said/took a picture of on this same day on a different year. That day wasn’t bad for me, but I know what’s coming; the anniversary of 2020 going completely off the rails. 

I won’t, and probably am not currently, the first person to start recapping the year. I’ve been thinking about it for the last few weeks. My year wasn’t as bad as most, but it’ not like I want to re-do it either. It’s like watching a bad season of the worst TV show ever on repeat. Some people took this 2020 challenge and have flourished. Others are just surviving. Some didn’t even get to do that. I can’t imagine what it would be like for those that went through so much more. If I was in a bad TV show, I can only imagine their memories may be closer to watching a horror movie.

One of the takeaways I have gotten from being a storyteller who mostly does personal narrative storytelling is how to craft a story from memories. I do it in a manner that is useful for me and hopefully for others as well. It’s how I make sense of the world with the hope that other can relate or find useful what I say. With that in mind, I decided to catalogue my own memories of the last year. Here are some of them:

  1. The actual proof that I needed that most meetings can, in fact, be an email
  2. Learning how to properly build box/blanket forts with my youngest daughter “Baby Girl”
  3. That my “Baby Girl” loves playing videogames with me, only because she like to watch me struggle
  4. I can have a positive impact at work and the world while wearing sweatpants
  5. Sometimes, it takes being personally impacted by a problem for many people to be empathetic about that problem
  6. There are people who don’t know things that others have known all their lives
  7. The number of hours it takes to watch every single Star Wars movie (and associated shows) is still less than the time took to officially know who won the US presidential election
  8. Lack of time was never the real reason my basement was never clean

There are some more painful lessons as well. As any experienced storyteller would tell you, tell stories from your scars, not your wounds. This was a bit of storytelling advice passed down to me from more experienced tellers. To tell a story the best, you have to be healed from it. After the year we have had, there is a lot of healing needed .

Go figure out the narrative of your life. Decide what’s worth keeping and what’s not. Appreciate where you have made it to. Learn what you can form it all. Brace yourself for the rest of our life. And of course, tell your story on purpose. 

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