What Is Your Life Story’s Biggest Lie?

People don’t want to know your story and they can’t. So why tell it? This can be a good thing or a lot of shit depending on your perspective. However, the goal is not to share your story but to provide you with context for why your story is different from others’. It can also give you a better view of who you are and what your journey’s final destination is.

To start this series of interviews, I had the privilege of meeting my mother-in-law for breakfast. I found myself with this profound question: “what do I want to see in my mother-in-law?” I was shocked to learn that she doesn’t want to have her life and story told. Instead she wants to see me tell mine — or her in return.

I am a firm believer in having an open conversation with friends and family. I believe in honesty and sharing. But my mother-in-law doesn’t feel the same way. How can they reconcile her openness with her deep distrust of personal and real life stories as things to be told?

As much as I believe in it, “telling your story” can be a loaded term and that goes well beyond telling stories about life and being alive. It’s more about the context of what you put out there in the world and where you’re sitting in the universe.

It’s all a matter of context.

In the following interview with the great storyteller and journalist Mark Twain I wanted to go into some detail about why he, as a man who lived an interesting life and told many fascinating stories, felt that it is a shame to have him and his stories told.

His book of stories, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , is one of my top three favorite books of all time. I was a very small child when the movie came out with the same title. There was something about its innocence that appealed to me. The movie, the book, and the story from the book are all part of one continuous narrative of the American dream in which the American dream begins with finding oneself. What makes it so powerful? It has a way of evoking other stories, people’s lives, and cultures in a way that is truly unique. I believe that that’s what has made Tom Sawyer one of the most enduring stories ever told. It has been told many times since then and the lessons of Tom Sawyer are still relevant today, even if the people have changed for the better. However, what I’m interested to explore in the interview is why Tom Sawyer is so important today as both a child of the American dream as a society and as a man. It’s a great example of how being the American dream is connected to being a human and how it’s important to celebrate those connections.

How do you decide whether to tell the stories of yourself or those of people you meet?

I think my story is more important than the stories of others. I think that’s true because I don’t do a lot of writing or speaking, I don’t teach at colleges, and I don’t publish books. I don’t even have an internet presence, so when others write and speak, I’m rarely in a position to see them but there are a lot of great stories being told by people I know.

The stories you tell and the experiences you have create a very unique version of you. If you are someone who has an interesting, interesting story, you live that. If you’re someone who just has a story to tell — a lot of stories — I don’t know if I’d call that you.

How long have you been working to tell your story and what inspired you to even begin?

I’ve always been a story teller. It’s a part of my DNA. I was a theater major. I don’t even know why I didn’t go into any of those schools because we’re always hearing these stories of people who do things when they grow up on stage or on film.