understanding the narrative of our lives

We each have a narrative we tell and it goes on in our heads. There’s different characters and threads, and each theme is developing at a different rate. When we are young, we might not have been able to do something, like balance a soccer ball on our heads or such. However, we learned and now we can! Thus that arc came to an end.

Whether or not the narrative in our heads is something we create or is something placed there by a higher power, it exists. We give ourselves a beginning, middle, and end; we see ourselves as pieces progressing in a larger journey! This is part of why we write and adore stories, because we love understanding the character arcs in our own lives. We understand what happens in and around us by looking at the causes and seeing how they bring us to where we are now and where we want to go. We want to understand the backstory so we know why the terrible enemy repented. Narratives satisfy the why.

Essays and interviews, and occasionally the rigorous conversation, are all aimed at getting that storyline out of someone. We want to know how they’ve gotten here and to see if they will care. The problem is that our narrative isn’t as defined as we’d like. After all, life is complicated and every small piece is a factor in some light. We might not know where we’re going, or have a hard time explaining how we got there. However, if we better comprehend our life journey, we can better understand how to move to where we want to be.

So ask yourself! If you are the protagonist of a plot of your life, who are the major players? What are the major themes? What things have you done and why? Understanding your own motivations helps you cultivate and prune them. Maybe money doesn’t matter to you as much as assume– or, maybe it matters more. Where are you right now compared to where you’ve been? Understand that, and it will help you know where to go next. And keep going! Keep understanding! Narratives evolve, so don’t be afraid to change.

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