Sunday, May 26, 2013

U is for... uncomfortable

I'm sorry I fell of the alphabet bandwagon for a couple of days. I had family visiting and they needed my attention.

It's easy to do what's comfortable. For instance, I love telling fairy tales. I love telling twisty, difficult, dark fairy tales. Some people find this surprising, they think it must be hard to tell these stories because they go in such odd places. It's not. It's very comfortable.

What's uncomfortable, for me, is telling personal stories. For years I avoided it, telling any kind of fiction, myth and folktale instead. I told people I didn't have any personal experiences to tell stories about. It was so uncomfortable I turned down gigs instead of revealing things about my life in any kind of factual way. Eventually a kind friend helped me craft some stories from my life. Light ones at first and then increasingly difficult stories. It wasn't easy and it certainly wasn't comfortable, but spending time with that discomfort and working through the problems telling these stories presented made me a much better storyteller.

When we go to the places where we are uncomfortable, we grow. It's the same thing when we use our bodies; we need to be a little uncomfortable to build new muscle and endurance. Try using storytelling in new ways. Try telling the kinds of stories that are challenging. Try telling to audiences you might have avoided. Tell from an uncomfortable perspective. Find safe ways to do so and you will grow. What was uncomfortable might become your new favorite thing. At a minimum you will stretch in new ways, learn new skills, and know your limitations are farther away than you thought.

(c) 2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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