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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

There’s a reason we tell ourselves stories. The details we focus on, the ones we leave out, the order we put things in–it all matters. Sometimes A LOT.

Because we need those stories to get through the day. Through the hard times. This is MY story–The one I play over and over in my head, while everything goes wrong. It’s the one where I’m on top of the world. Where I feel safest…Where I’m loved…Where I’m not alone…

-Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man (2018), Issue #1

This quote has stuck with me for almost two years, since when I first read this issue. It pops up in my head every now and again, and makes me stop in my tracks for a while. I’m not sure why it’s stuck with me, but these seemingly…heck, mostly- insignificant lines from the opening of a comic book has changed the way I look at a lot of stuff. It’s weird, I know- but hear me out. Everything- and everyone, has a story. Usually more than one- a network of interconnected tales that come together and form a living, breathing entity of information that you see in front of you in every moment of your being. There’s a multitude of stories behind the screen that you’re reading this on. The internet, which has made these stories accessible to everyone right on their fingertips. The clothes you’re wearing, the ground you walk on. Everything has a history that is often beyond our imagination. And I believe, each one of these stories are worth sharing and listening to.

We can learn a lot about ourselves and the world around us if we tune our ears to search for these stories. History teaches us about our origins, to learn from the good that we’ve achieved, and to not repeat the same mistakes that we have made decades, centuries or millennia ago. Science tells us about the universe and our place in it, and teaches us how to make the most of what we are presented with. Religion offers peace, purpose and meaning to billions of people around the world. Philosophy tells us the story of morality, human nature and existence, Culinary arts tell us the story of our own taste, and the culture that shapes it. Music tells us stories too- often vague, sometimes overly specific. These are stories you can dance to, vibe with or just share with your friends, families and millions of people around the globe simultaneously. There’s a story to be found everywhere, if only we know to look for them. Stories hold power- They can create wars, diversion, division or propagate peace, love and unity. They can shape revolutions, bring justice and give answers to those who seek them, support to those who need it and love to those who have been neglected for far too long. They offer hope- a promise. The power that is held inside a pen, keyboard, and in our voice, far exceeds any clever weapon that any genius inventor can come up with. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can change the world. On the other hand, these stories can help you in your personal journey as well. Books, movies, TV shows, folktales, dreams, anecdotes- we all consume these stories as a form of escapism, but they help us in our real life as well. They can help us relate to and evaluate the various challenges we face every day, teach us to introspect, and to empathize. They can motivate us, and sometimes they can teach you to not take everything too seriously and be all pretentiously philosophical and analytical about every little thing you read- a lesson that I sorely need to learn, evidently. But either way, there’s no overstating the importance of stories in our world.

Now, I’m just an average teenager in one of the most populous cities in the world. I’m not special- but I don’t plan on being so. I don’t often share much about myself, and I’m certainly not very popular. I just live my life- I sleep, I dream, I play games, I watch stuff and sometimes I write. But nowadays, I’ve started evaluating what I want to give to the world, and what I want to take from it. I think my deepest desire is to be a storyteller- maybe not in profession but definitely in the spirit of the word. I want to share experiences, tell stories, and help people in relating with each other. I tell dozens of stories to myself, at times when I’m happy, when I’m sad…when I’m looking for hope, and when I’m looking to help someone, or find help myself. And as a storyteller, I also want to listen. I want to hear contrasting opinions, I want to explore different cultures and personalities, thought processes. I want to keep finding new stories. Storytelling is a beautiful and essential process in all its various forms.

Pretentious philosophical ramblings aside, the purpose of this write-up is to ask you, what stories do you tell yourself? Which stories do you share with others? Which stories help you make sense of this confusing- often dreary- but always beautiful world? It can be anything, from music, movies, books, that hilarious Tumblr thread that you randomly remember when showering, the fables that your grandparents told you when you were a naive, innocent kid, sitting in their lap with all the time in the world. It could even be that weird dream you had when you were 8 and still haven’t forgotten. Share your voice, share your stories. Because in the end, stories are made to be shared.

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Simplicity is the key to lead an exuberant life. U have expressed complex feelings in a simple way. It will definitely appeal to all as it becomes easy to relate. Simplicity of mind helps to observe things the way they are without adding ur own colour to it. Waiting eagerly for many more articles from u.


Simply superb. It is always a pleasure to know that such young minds have such a wonderful understanding of human nature. Sorry, I used the same word twice in one sentence. But couldn’t find a n alternate.


Well written thoughts which are motivating us to tell our own stories to others. After reading this article, I remember Steve Job when he said, "The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller". I am very much confident that one day the author will be very powerful in putting his own great ideas in this world.


Well thought, well written and well presented.. hoping to read many more such articles out of your repertoire.!!!


Vinayan Janardhan
Vinayan Janardhan
Jul 16, 2020

This is truly a heartfelt and sincere account of what writing is... As Stephen King succinctly puts it, it is never about the story, it is always about the writer. The author here shows a maturity and sensitivity that belies his age. And the quality of the writing is also commendable. Kudos to the young author. We wish to see many more such strong emotions recollected in tranquility...

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