Overall, I really liked and appreciated this essay. It was a great read! I was engaged fully throughout the whole article.
The first time where Julie Beck connected with me was when she mentioned that the way people retell their experiences to others shape the way they end up remembering those events. It is very interesting because very recently, I have started to think about this concept. It was intriguing that we determine how we feel about a certain experience depending on how we retell it to others. In the very end, the life story we are telling is our truth. It is what we believe in to be the absolute truth and because of that, we shape how we view that experience
The second thing that really caught my eye and I was very into this in-text conversation was when she mentioned the place that redemptive and contamination stories stand in society. I, personally, really like contamination stories over redemptive stories just because I find them more interesting and there is more to talk about after the fact. Redemptive stories have their place of course, but I usually find them cliché and predictable. I like how she mentions that redemptive stories is American optimism because thats exactly what it is! I am all for being optimistic in most situations, but if you continue to deny the fact some things just don’t get better, then you’re just hurting yourself. Only when you can admit the truth can you really benefit from the experience mentally. Sharing the hardships is what starts a conversation and a conversation leads to a connection between 2 people and isn’t that what we want? I believe it’s okay to vulnerable and share these contamination stories because you’re just helping yourself.
The final thing that I thought was pretty interesting (nothing can compare to the last one) was when she said “And while you may be able to avoid reasoning about a certain event, it would be pretty hard to leave all the pages of a life story unwritten.” I thought that this line was beautiful and it goes along with my point that you should be vulnerable. Do not leave any stone unturned because sometimes these difficult events can really shape who you are and by finding your identity, your life story is one step closer to becoming truly yours. So I believe that share the hardships and just talk. Obviously there are things that should be left undisturbed, but in the end it’s the narrator’s judgement call.