You know, it’s not that most of us set out to tell stories. That’s for the best, actually – most of us aren’t that good at telling stories. We’re too likely to throw our story into the mix, to shape the tale as if we’re the glowing hero, our quest to overthrow the meanings of conventional boredom and deliver a tale that’s at once both impressive and inspiring. But we’re not the story.

Even if we’re IN the story, we aren’t THE story.

Yet, we continue to shape the narrative. Without even thinking about it.

And that’s absolutely okay.

When we have conversations or give instructions or write blog posts or develop rapport with some guy at the bus stop, we’re telling a story. The story of our experience and knowledge and personality. The story of our passions, of our annoyances, of the things that make us human and, in part, make our audience human.

When we tell a story about someone else, we tell that story through our eyes, which means we continue to tell our story, which means we’re never truly devoted to an objective view of what’s conjecture and what’s fact: we taint every word with our own knowledge, our collective thoughts muddying up someone else’s actions.

So here we are, trying to tell the truth, and we can never reliably do it, so instead we continue doing what we’ve always done: we reinvent history, and we shape it in our own way, and we deliver it to whoever wants to listen, and we realize that, even if we don’t mean to tell stories in the first place, that’s totally exactly what we’re doing.

Just by being human and opening our mouth or writing something down, we’re telling stories. We’re storytellers.

Tell THAT to the next person who says, “I’m just not very creative.”

This was lovingly handwritten on September 8th, 2010