The Difference Between Stories and Experiences

“Those who tell the stories rule society.” –Plato

When I began to post my thoughts publicly just six months ago, I had to make a good effort to get over how self-conscious I was when it came to talking about my experiences. While I had no readers at the time, I felt incredibly disorientated with my words and paralyzed when it came to storytelling or lack of. Yet at the same time, when I heard the everyday stories of others trudging, navigating, and skipping their way through the world I was completely intrigued by experiences that could have been my own.

The more I learned from the stories of others, the more I learned about myself and how I wanted to avoid pitfalls, take risks and travel through life. It seems to me that despite how great the world appears to be, all our stories are worth telling if only you’re willing to share them. Now when you can be entirely honest, ask yourself: What makes their story better than your experience? The only difference between your experience and their story is that you never had the courage to tell it to make it a story.

Perhaps the single biggest mistake we make is considering ourselves to be individuals that possess independent experiences and isolated thoughts that aren’t relevant to the people in the world around us. Such fallacies demean the value of not only our experiences but also our own abilities to express what we know. Being confident enough to tell stories from your own experiences doesn’t make you self-absorbed but rather, open to sharing with others.

Remember that article you read? How about the incredible story a friend told you about from their adventures abroad? Those stories resonated with you and left its mark in your memory like your own experiences. Fact of the matter is those people reached out and made a connection with you that day using their story and you can do the same.

Maybe you’re still not convinced your experiences are worth “story-status”.

Why not think of it like your social network? Enough people in the same Facebook group or Twitter list make for a community. The connections made through stories are the same. They create not only connections but build communities, create successful initiatives and drive power.

Storytelling is power.

In fact, the power of storytelling is so great that over the course of human history the ability has both produced influential leaders and shunned those going against popular opinion. To stop a story from touching the lives of others is to stop the story from ever being told again.

Not all stories have resonated with you (which are most of them) and this will likely be the case with the stories you end up telling but it doesn’t make your story any less valuable. Just recall the stories that once touched you with their words and how you would be a different person without them.

Return the favour, stop keeping the experiences to yourself and share stories.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

10 Signs You’re Under Significant Financial Pressure

  1. You’ve never once considered purchasing warranty. The nice salespeople always suggest that you buy some sort of expensive warranty for your expensive electronic (which you probably shouldn’t be getting in your financial situation anyway) and you can only politely decline. Not that you take amazing care of your iPod/Smartphone/laptop, but you just can’t bring yourself to fork out money that otherwise don’t have leave your ever-so-flat wallet.
  2. Learning that an amount like $30 can be stretched throughout a 2 week period between paychecks. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Is it ever relaxing living from one payday to the next? I didn’t think so. During these times you learn to channel your inner frugality and avoid activities that require spending of any kind, including but not limited to eating.
  3. Regretting the purchase of lottery tickets. Yes, those lottery and scratch-and-win tickets provide you with a tiny little glimmer of hope but you soon realize, after week after week of disappointment, that you might as well have just thrown your money away. Now wouldn’t it have been great if you had thought that one through and purchased a meal instead of starving yourself?!?!!! It just goes to show the power of having hope –so keep that going (just lay off the lottery tickets).
  4. When something you need goes on sale, you buy it. In fact, you buy it EXTREME COUPONING style. Sales feel like a once in a lifetime experience when you’re broke. If you miss it you won’t be using that product for awhile. This is sort of like when you’re so hungry you can’t help but gorge yourself at the end of the day despite knowing you don’t need all of the food.
  5. Reconsidering your scheduled days off at work because you need the money from extra shifts. At times you’re actually super relieved to have a day off once every so often to take a break and just breathe… but as soon as you hear your boss mention an extra shift you instantly feel the obligation to comply. Pressure from your boss? Nope. Pressure from being broke? Totally.
  6. Always going for the personalized hairstyle. By this, I mean you probably cut your own hair at times to dodge a visit to the hairstylist. Long story short –the haircut isn’t worth the price and you sure as heck can’t afford it. Not to say you won’t regret the fact that you chopped all your hair off by accident and gave yourself a bad perm. Forgive yourself already, it’ll grow back.
  7. Sometimes thinking that even student pricing is too much. Aside from the usual children/seniors admission to events you probably have the most affordable admission to events at one point but the price still kept you from going. At some point you may have pre-planned the excuse of not having your cash or your bank card readily available to pay for access. What a bummer.
  8. Hording napkins from fast food restaurants. What more can I say?
  9. Who needs a hotel for roadtrips anyway? Just sleep in the car. They say to collect all the nice soaps and shampoos when you’re staying at a hotel and save but… can you really afford to stay at a hotel in this sort of financial situation? You take a look at your bank account balance and wonder why you ever thought the entire trip would make a good idea.
  10. Daily meals of instant noodles. Funny how you thought you would be leaving this kind of lifestyle behind after you graduate from post-secondary and land your dream job, huh? Little did you know that you were neglecting the debt from student loans and had miscalculated the chances of you actually landing a job, let alone the big dream.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

5 Things To Do When You’re On The Verge of Breakdown

The same irrational thoughts plague your mind when you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Rationally speaking, we all know that typically we’re the only ones that can help ourselves but we wish for the quick fix from someone else. We want the band-aid.

Of course, this isn’t something any of us can change overnight.

We hear of the success stories; the people that overcame this battle.

We feel inspired to overcome our own problems ourselves. Unfortunately, this inspiration doesn’t even last throughout the day.

When we’re hurting so much, its so difficult to believe this too shall pass. I have yet to be able to say I’ve been able to work through this myself. The worse possible outcome I had imagined in the first place is going to become a reality. How can we lift this weight off our shoulders and move on with our lives?

Writing this, I’m not trying to make you believe I’ve always been happy or that… I’m even happy right now. In fact, I am not. However, I do believe that taking some steps back and removing yourself from such plaguing thoughts will be promising to you. At least temporarily.

  1. Watch your favourite movie. Trust me, you need that laugh. For me, I find this to be a wonderful temporary escape. I laugh and cry with the characters as if for 120 minutes of that day I too lived in their world. And why not? Because you certainly wouldn’t want to be spending that 120 minutes of your day continuing to plague yourself with the same frustrating thoughts pushing you towards a nervous breakdown.
  2. Make a list of things you would want to do if you had unlimited resources. I think many people (myself included) tend to hesitate when being asked what their goals are… or what they would like to achieve in the next year or so because we feel limited in our power and the resources we can attain. We receive enough negativity from others as it is. Don’t be beating yourself down. Once your write these things down you’ll be able to better envision them for your future. Dare to dream.
  3. Learn to say no. Chances are when you’re under such high emotional stress, you may not want to be around everyone. Know that its alright to say no to things and make time for yourself. When we take too much time to consider what others may think of us, we may lose sight of what our priorities are. Your priority for today is to keep the depressing thoughts away and give yourself time.
  4. Don’t expect everyone to understand. We know ourselves the best. As much as we would love someone to come along and be able to make everything better… know that can help yourself the best. I’m writing this today because I believe we share similar challenges in our lives but we may never understand each others’ problems, specific circumstances, struggles etc. Know that even though I don’t completely understand you situation –we’re still in the same boat and I still care.
  5. Be sad when you need to be. While I speak of ways to remove yourself from the verge of breakdown, I’m not saying you must try to be happy all day everyday. You’re allowed to be sad. It doesn’t make you weak for having emotions, its only one part of the battle.

– itsfruitcakeweather.