A Lifelong Relationship With Storytelling

This morning, I was on Facebook and stumbled upon an article titled “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose”. It was an interesting article, with interesting points, but the “strange question” that really caught my attention was: What makes you forget to eat and poop? I know, it’s weird to think about, but it totally clicked with me as I was reading what the author of the article had to say about it. He says that, when he was younger, he used to play video games for hours upon hours, and that now he realizes that he didn’t have a passion for the games themselves, but for improvement. Making himself better.

The reason this clicked with me is because it got me thinking about all of the different things I did in my childhood that probably should have been a dead giveaway that, someday, I’d long to become an author or storyteller of some kind.

First of all, there’s the obvious. The way I would wake up at five or six o’clock in the morning, every morning, just to write. I would even sneak down to my parents’ bedroom and silently close their door, which they always left cracked during the night so that they would hear if something was wrong. I did this so that I could be sure that no sound I made (like the clacking of keys on the computer) would wake them up. This was because I knew that the second they were awake, they’d start making me do things that weren’t writing, so I needed to maximize my writing time as much as possible. I would revel in the rare few times that my parents slept in and I was able to write for four hours instead of just one or two. It elated me. Filled me with adrenaline that pushed me forward in my stories.

Then there’s the less obvious. Like the way I would play The Sims (and all of its reincarnations) for literal hours at a time. As you may or may not know, there are different types of people that play The Sims. There’s the people who love to create characters and never actually get into the game. There’s the architects and interior designers, who spend all of their time just designing and building houses. And then there’s the people who are in it for the stories they can create. I mostly belonged to the last category, though I also thoroughly enjoyed, and still do enjoy, creating characters. I would create dramatic stories and backstories for these characters, give them voices, make up dialogue, create entire plots. I was writing stories, even when I wasn’t physically writing.

It was the same with all other video games I played, too. I rarely, if ever, played a game to complete the goals that were set for me. One game in particular that comes to mind is the Spiderman 2 game for the PlayStation 2. I don’t know if I ever actually finished that game, because I was too focused on, again, creating a story. I was fascinated with the open world that the creators of that game had made. I would have Spiderman, in all of his red-and-blue leotarded glory, walk around on the digital streets of New York City like he was a normal guy. I would create stories for him, like he had amnesia and didn’t remember that he was Spiderman. Or I would pretend that he just wanted to be normal, not a superhero anymore. Or I would use his web-slinging powers, but I would use them to explore the city and make up stories for the other NPC’s (Non-Playable Characters, for any of you who are less privy to the world of gaming).

I would also do this with the Shrek game that came out for the PlayStation 2. I would just run around the different levels and take way too long to complete the objectives because I was too busy imagining drama between the different characters I could play. Heck, I even did this with a motocross game that my dad owned. I’d make stories for the freaking motocross drivers. What can I say? I was kind of a weird kid.

But that’s the thing. All of these weird things I did as a kid led to who I am now: a girl with a passion for storytelling. Someone with a lot of interesting and unique ideas for stories, most likely because I didn’t get my ideas the conventional way. I found stories wherever I could, and I ran with them. And, yeah, sometimes while I was writing or playing video games, I forgot to eat and poop. That was because, at the end of it all, I was just so enthralled with creating a story, even where there wasn’t one before.

So, what about you guys? Is there anything like this that makes (or made) you forget to eat or poop? Can you trace your passions back to anything that may or may not actually be related to your passions? Let me know in the comments!

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