Ever since I was just a little boy, I’ve always loved to tell stories. It’s just what came naturally to me. Where other kids were good at soccer or math, I was making up stories in my countless notebooks that I’d force my mom to buy me. Unfortunately, I thought it’d be a good idea to tell my friends that the characters in my stories were real people I knew personally. One of my characters was my “Uncle Max” who was a world traveler and did all sorts of awesome things like explore ancient Egyptian pyramids or fight kung-fu masters in China. My friends all thought he was the coolest uncle ever, but soon I realized that if they ever asked my mom about him she would be so confused and my secret would be EXPOSED! How could I face them then? They would know I was just a stupid liar and then I’d lose my audience! I couldn’t let that happen. Eventually, I decided that my “Uncle Max” had to disappear. I had to make sure he’d never betray me. Luckily enough, all my friends and I were seven years old so to make him disappear, all I had to do was stop talking about him. Eventually, he faded into obscurity.
Kindergarten is when all of this storytelling nonsense started. I learned about the alphabet and how if you put letters together you can make words and write out sentence which could then be connected to make stories! My little five year old brain couldn’t handle that. You were seriously telling me that I could write down whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted? I could have died, but then I realized I was five. I didn’t know how to spell or write. I was still trying to comprehend why not breathing was so hard.
I still remember the very first story I ever wrote. Growing up I loved the Legend of Zelda series, so I decided that, at five years old, I was going to write a dramatic retelling of the Ocarina of Time. I was quite ambitious for my age. I thought I was treading new ground, doing something that’d never been done before. However, I also thought that by mixing a bunch of food coloring and kitchen spices into my milk I would get super powers.
I was very wrong.
Instead, all I got was a tummy ache and a burning hatred for cows and their milky venom. I haven’t let go of that grudge either. If I get the chance to eat beef products, I ingest that stuff into my body so fast those cows never get a chance to see what hit ‘em. I also down a glass of milk out of spite.
As I got older and I was exposed to more things, my stories eventually started to resemble something apart from just a jumble of words. I began create actual characters and plot lines. I put a lot of thought and planning into my work. That didn’t make it good per se, but it did show that I was really trying to grow as an artist. Compared to my friends at the time, I was Charles Dickens, and worst of all, I knew it. I got such a big head when it came to my writing skills that at times I couldn’t make it through doorways. All my friends would point and laugh at the abomination that was my ego and its ability to double as a runway for planes.
It wasn’t until college that my ego finally deflated and I started to resemble a human being. I matured. I did a lot of studying and research as to what really makes a story click, and now I think I’m fairly good at what I do. Sadly, it’s the only thing I’m really good at doing anymore. I spent so much time in school devoted to becoming a better writer, my other skills plummeted. I’ve tried constantly to get all sorts jobs, but sadly being an exceptionally fast typist who is really good at brainstorming ideas for a coming of age fantasy story about a young boy who meets a talking cow that wants to take over the world using his disgusting superpower granting milk is not someone that employers are jumping head over heels to hire. So now I’m here, writing silly little stories about my life. Maybe this is my calling. Maybe this is what I’m supposed to do.
If that’s the case, I guess I’m happy. Like I said, telling stories is what comes naturally to me, and if the stories I’m destined to tell are just dramatic retellings of my life then that’s all I could really hope for.