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Thread: Do you view your life as a narrative?

  1. #11
    Retired Member Array
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    Sep 2009
    9w1 sx/sp
    EII Fi


    I remember my younger, dreamier self thinking of life in this way. I think it's the people who are particularly attached to stories who tend to view their lives in this way. Stories—in particular, novels—have an important place in my life, and have at times affected the choices I made and how I want to live my life. Life doesn't present itself as a narrative, but it can if we edit and shape it into one. But I sort of like that life doesn't read like a single narrative. Life is much more interesting and varied in its raw format. I do like @chana's idea of "a series of short stories with a lot of filler in between". That feels more accurate.

    The idea that the stories we're exposed to influences how we interpret our own lives (viewing them as narratives, for example) reminds me of that great piece that @Jonnyboy posted here, and in particular this passage:

    Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

  2. #12
    Temporal Mechanic. Array Lexicon's Avatar
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  3. #13


    Our experiences 'make sense' when we weave a personal thread through them and call them a narrative. Experiences are what they are, organized and causal or no; and the stories that we create from them are our identities.

    So, yeah, I do. (I'm also told that I make a bitchin' narrator.)

  4. #14
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    3w2 so


    Johari / Nohari

    "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

  5. #15
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Everyone is the hero in their own story. Welcome to MY story.

    Points to anyone who actually understands the meaning.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Array Chiharu's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    7w6 sx/so
    ENFp None


    I see mine as a play with a lot of soliloquies
    Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut

    ENFP. 7w6 – 4w3 – 1w9 sx/so. Aries. Dilettante. Overly anxious optimist.

  7. #17
    scourge Array miss fortune's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    827 sp/so
    SLE Ti


    I mentally narrate my life as I live it... I occasionally queue up a soundtrack as well

    I actually don't remember a time in which I haven't done this... probably the whole storytelling background I was raised in rubbing off or something. Any story can be interesting if told correctly, after all
    Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom? -Terry Pratchett

  8. #18
    girl with a pretty smile Array Honor's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    1w2 so


    I do view my life as a narrative. However, I think the narrative you construct about your life can change (although, it can be difficult to change it). Mine definitely changed in early adulthood. The arc became much less linear, the story became much more complex.
    RobertCalifornia: TL thinks im black
    RobertCalifornia: shes my homegurl
    Hive: arent you
    SpankyMcfly: wait... you arent?

    thoughtlost: I am not really religious. I just like getting free stuff from churches.

  9. #19
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Really, the question is: are we part of someone else's narrative, or do we create our own narrative?

    The surprising answer is that we are not part of anyone's narrative, least of all our own, rather we live the archetype.

    If our archetype is literate individualism, then strangely enough, our archetype is invisible to us.

    So rather than finding out who we are by studying our archetype on typology central, we focus on our navel, about the closest thing we can find to the comfort of the womb, and dissect our narcissism with mbti.
    There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing.
    Click on

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  10. #20
    know ⏩ assist ⏩ survive Array Alaska's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    4w5 sx/sp
    ESI Fi


    There are chapter breaks, at least, which I noticed recently in an episode of journaling. What happens again and again is that I overexert myself at whatever the chapter is about and burn myself out mentally and somatically, forcing retreat and rebuilding.

    Percieving life, especially the past and future, in narrative form is a warning sign that I'm dwelling neurotically on situations. Seeing other people as characters is not far from seeing them as objects. I can get out of it and back into reality by breaking out through the ceiling: intensifying the tragedy in my mind until it goes over the edge into comic hyperbole. Then I'm laughing at my problem. That's why when I talk to others about my problems, my language is dark humor.
    4w5 6w7 1w2 sx/sp ISFP

    RLOAX (don't do it)
    Melancholic Hufflepuff
    A lonely island where only what is permitted to move moves, becomes an ideal. Jung

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