Updated: Apr 20, 2019
I love to hear stories from people, young and old. Maybe it's the writer in me but I absolutely love it. I love to see the passion people put into relating their experiences especially when they are moved with genuine passion. It makes me connect with them. In their happy moments, frightful moments and even sorrow.
Growing up in Trinidad, you hear a lot of interesting stories. Regardless of if you wanted to hear it or not. Trinidadians are natural born storytellers. It runs wild in our blood much like the sound of a steel pan, the strong cravings of curry, and the tolerance for the hot sun. We aren't afraid to use our facial features, our body, the objects around us and the entire space available at that point to tell a story. We are really entertaining. Even if the story is somewhat exaggerated, at the end, you would be wishing you were there to see it unfold.
This is one of the things I'm absolutely proud of as a Trinidadian. Our humor and the ability to connect through our unique way of relating an experience. It can happen anywhere, waiting on the bus route for a maxi with strangers, sitting in a doctor's office, a casual conversation with co-workers and even when you are ordering food.
Experiences, my experiences and the experience of another, is something that I have come to cherish. As a writer, it helps me to understand people better so I can write effective characters. It opens my eyes to new situations, teaches me things I never learned, helps me not to make the same mistakes that others have and it helps me understand people better. It builds me and in turn I believe the experience of another, has an effect on my experiences, current ones and th ones I'll live through in the future.
Make it Personal : Turn Experiences into ExperIences
While I have to live my own life, I can learn from the experiences my parents had. In turn whenever I am faced with a decision, I must be able to experience the consequences of my action, whether it be good or bad. Maybe one day, someone will have their own experience and remember mines when they've been faced with a similar situation.
I'm not saying go make decisions in reckless abandon just to earn experience so you can tell a bunch of people about the time you swung on a vine over a precipice and nearly plummeted to your death, narrowly missing a piece of bamboo that could have impaled as you slid onto an Ant's nest a few inches away from the tree that prevented you from sliding into the void below (Yes, that was a true story from a relative of mine. See what I meant when Trinidadians have interesting experiences?)
I'm saying. Don't be afraid to try new things, talk to new people and learn. Experiences come in all different forms. Learning how to react to a difficult situation at work. Listening to an old war veteran give accounts of his time on the battlefield. Praying with people on their death beds in hospitals. Going to a new place. Trying new food. Listening to a teenager's account of his day and hardships in school. Helping a friend start up their business. Traveling to a new country. Taking a Spa day for your hardworking self. Trailblazing. Telling that someone you love them.
We're gonna experience things until we die. Might as well share them and learn from the experiences of others. Gather them and create them. Make your own experIences. Don't only live based on the stories people tell you. Don't live in fear thinking that someone's experience will be the same as yours. Don't think that you'll get brutally rejected by the girl you love because your best friend was embarrassed in front of the whole school by his crush. While it's good to learn and use wisdom in whatever comes your way. Some stories are just that. Stories.
Go out. Do things you enjoy doing. Love. Live for Jesus. And don't be afraid to learn. Life won't stop throwing things at you. What you do with it is how you'll tell your story....or how you'll hide it away. Go with God in whatever you do. Make your story count and then share it with others and if you can, share it like a Trini.