Right now, I am the final day of work with the Center for Digital Storytelling. This week has been so hectic: my parents were visiting so we traveled a great deal while I had to juggle the needs of my students, career, self. The most exhausting days were the last three as I began each day at 730 am (hrough I was often awakened at around 5am) working at CDS on telling “my story” while actively teaching and then going home to spend time with my parents. It was exhausting and rejuvenating all at once.
I discovered through the process of learning to tell my distinct story how much I was affected by it. I have pretty severe scoliosis, but it is only recently, through a nonfiction piece recently published in The Packinghouse Review, and now through this story that I have ever talked about that part of myself. The occasional back pain I have is far less than the pain of carrying my personal burden. I realize that part of my distrust of doctors came from being treated, poked and prodded throughout my adolescence until I finally decided that I would control my own treatment.
Part of me continues to wonder if my personal story is valuable within the world. I am surrounded by storytellers. Some have shared their drafts with me, so strong and vibrant. I developed chills. I found tears forming soon after their titles. Their voices swayed me into a depth of feeling I don’t often experience in the company of strangers. Should my voice call among them?
If student were to ask me that question, I would, of course, say, YES! I would extoll the value of their authentic voices. I would support their efforts, all them into community. This is difficult for me to do for myself, but I am sure I am not the first to feel this way.