#138: Exit Stories That Aren't Yours
stories where I am no more than a background character
The desire to be a part of a great story has driven humans for millennia. Once we got past our immediate needs, we craved self-actualization: the connection to a narrative that mobilizes our otherwise burdensome self towards becoming a hero. Immersion into stories such as books, films, celebrities, schools, jobs, culture, or religion temporarily grants us “transcendence”. Yet, we most ardently desire to turn our own lives into a grand story.
Before I craft a story of my own, I stick my nose into the stories of others. Because I see others as agents for creating my story, I feel tremendous pain when they deny my participation. By rejecting me, this job, person, group, lifestyle, or country has kicked me out of a meaningful narrative and into a chaotic existential crisis. If my struggles don’t have a narrative, my whole being is at risk.
With all my might I hold on to the stories that I am still allowed in. This relationship, social group or construct, job, profession, country -I’m no more than a background character but I am too afraid to let go. So I ask myself: