While my friends went off on an exotic cruise bouncing along the pan-american coastline, I decided to spend this week doing work. Catching up on homework, going to a workshop, applying for post-grad work, and using force to move things a certain distance (multiply them, btiches! it counts!) I’m doing this, not because I am the most responsible of my friends, but because I am driven by the most powerful emotion in the whole wide world: fear. Fear that I won’t find a job, fear that I’ve tinkered with my brain chemicals beyond repair, fear that if I don’t learn marketable skills NOW I’ll be useless once released to the real world, and the ever-present haunting fear that if I leave my desk for ONE SECOND I’ll lose momentum, fall into an abyss of apathy and never graduate.
But enough of that. Let’s talk about stories.
My first SB10t task at hand is to prepare for a Digital Storytelling Workshop that starts in eh… approximately 12 hours. By class time tomorrow I need to have created storyboard for a memory or event that will form the frame of the production. This is what brings me back to the wonderful world of xanga: it holds about 4+ years of posts spanning the most tUmUlTuOuS years of my life. Surely something buried among these archives is worthy of visual digitization? Probably. But that’s not what has caught my attention as I peruse through high school/early college content (surprise! I got distracted again!). It’s the presence of the online narrative itself. Reading over my old posts has made it abundantly clear that somewhere along the way I seem to have lost my ability to tell stories! Back in the day (circa 2004) I could weave an entire xanga entry from a mere song-lyric, an observation, or a funny thought. Symptoms of overanalysis? Most definitely. But at least there was something there, some narrative process in which I convert thoughts streams to metaphors or morality tales.
As excited as I am about learning a new computer program (Final Cut Pro) and developing my skills as a filmographer, I think the best part of this workshop will be that it forces me to reexamine my role as a narrative being. I will make a story and I will make it coherent. I will make it longer than 140 characters. I will complete a sentence without referencing hyperlinks. I can do this.