The idea to start a blog originated earlier this year. At the time I was a small business owner, and I was introduced to blogging as a way of self promotion. So this blog has really been in the works since February of 2019, just not in its current iteration (see: “My Bout With Unemployment” for more). Prior to that however, I have always had an inclination towards writing as a means of self expression. I had my first journal back when I was 13 years old. The contents of it were what someone would expect from a prepubescent: me being angry/emotional, talking about how my day went in general, or one of my sexual escapades (I was sexually active relatively early). I have no idea where that journal is now lol, probably for the better. I remember my dad finding it and talking to me about it after reading an entry about my aunt (I was mad at her), and I was mortified. I thought my privacy had been violated which it had. In hindsight though, it was my fault. After my mom past, my sister and I moved in with my dad who lived with his mother, his two sisters, and his brother; so there was no such thing as personal privacy, especially for a 13 year old.
Since then, I have not learned my lesson. I still keep a personal hard cover journal that I write in relatively frequently, two in fact. I also have a journal app on my phone which is awesome, but that’s password protected so it’s more secure; and now I have this blog where I post all about myself. One of the reasons why this habit/hobby of writing things out has stuck with me, is because I’ve always been taught to own your story. Growing up I was told if you don’t tell your story someone else will. It’s important for me to tell my story. Why? because I do not want to concede the power of my narrative. The perfect example of this, is if you google my name there is an article that comes up on me that was written in college. In that article, the writing was reflecting on a presentation I had given on school spirit, and they write the following:
“The journey is what makes me Rowan proud. I was 20 when I went to Rio de Janiero. I had to deal with depression, anxiety” he said.”
At best one may think that this is poor sentence structure. At worst, a person may think that I was depressed while being in Brazil during the 2016 Olympics. How preposterous is that!? In fact, I had an amazing time. But this is what I mean by the power of narrative. If someone had only read that excerpt about me and not had been at that talk, or knew me personally, the perception they could have gotten would have been a misrepresentation of myself, that specific trip, and that presentation in general. I mean come on, I made a Steven Universe reference in that presentation and all the writer of that article got from it was I was sad, that’s an injustice lol.
Interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. There are countless times where something has happened with me involved as the primary source, yet the secondary/tertiary opinion is taken as truth; this is the case even among my own friend group. If people are going to create, misinterpret, or out right lie about a narrative in the presence of perceived facts, it’s important that we as equal opportunist story tellers tell our side. If no one ever reads this blog in its entirety, I still want it to exist, because its my side of the story. By owning our stories we say that they are important. By telling our stories we say that they are impactful. There is strength in the vulnerability associated with honesty. During my time in the sales industry, I learned “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story”. I would argue, as it relates to giving power to our truth, do not let a good story get in the way of your ability to be honest with yourself, and with others.
the last thing I will say on this subject is this: the other value in story telling, is you never know the impact your story will have on someone else. Another thing I was taught growing up, is that we are never the only person going through our specific life struggle at any given time. A couple weeks back, I hung out with one of my fraternity bother’s who also graduated, and we were talking about our experiences over the past two years. I was surprised at our conversation, but it also felt good to know that I was not the only one who over the past two years was struggling with grasping my new reality post college. What we experience is not just for us, but also for others. That’s why in my about, I say that I hope this blog and it’s contents are impactful. The stories here are true, they are my experiences and how I got through them/what I learned because of them, and they are not just for me to hoard or covet, that would mismanagement of a gift/tool someone else could use to benefit themselves.
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