When I was this big, I watched The Little Mermaid and I dreamed of beauty, swimming and a best friend like Flounder.
I wore out The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and added excitement and strange lands to my list.
Then came the Hobbit, and my dreams grew to include bravery, adventure, cleverness.
Over the years there have been thousands of stories. I’ve devoured books, movies, TV, documentaries. They opened new worlds, they shaped me and changed me.
In highschool I followed the stories into History, Art and English. I learned about the tricks, George Orwell and Nazis exposed stories as a tool of repression, and the post-modernists showed me their disdain for literature that claimed truth and beauty. I was disappointed.
I started to question my dreams – my shape – formed by so many underhanded, sneaky, manipulative stories. When I started at university, it was to pick a fight with stories. To find out all their secrets.
Instead I fell in love with them – and I fell deep. I read the defiant stories of feminists from as far back as the Yellow Wallpaper. I was dumbfounded by the solidarity, the comfort, the hope and the challenge they provided. I read post-colonial literature that showed the hidden history, searched persistently for lost identity, and refused to be silent. I learned how the stories of our history interlinked, argued and explained. And I explored language in new ways. I loved the feeling of words as they spilled out, with harsh jagged edges, or with soft persuasive sounds. I met incredible poets and writers who did things with words I’d never heard before. And I grew.
Somewhere in there my dreams became about the stories. The powerful ones, the ones that built my understanding of the world, the ones that made me angry and excited. I knew I wanted to write them, tell them or share them.
That’s still my dream, and I feel lucky to be living it through my social media work for a non-profit I deeply believe in. In this dream job, I get to tell and share stories that matter to me – the good ones, the ones connect you to people, give you hope. And I get to see the connections. Sharing stories on Facebook means that I get stories back, and sometimes people’s comments have me in tears. I love to hear that these stories have inspired someone, affirmed a decision to give, or even changed a heart. It’s incredible to me that Facebook – disparaged for it’s shallowness – can facilitate such a powerful connection.
But that’s only part of my dream, stories aren’t just my day job. Stories are my passion, I’ll keep reading and writing for myself, but I also want to share. And that’s where this blog comes in: It’s the starting point. A place. A commitment. It’s been inspired by the amazing bloggers I’ve read and met who started at the same point, and worked it out. I’m going to write what I know, and what I love – social media, books, making stuff, Melbourne, everything – while I find my story.