We can’t see or share everything, no matter how much we may try.
The footage in this video is shown in chronological order as much as possible, from 2003 to this very week. You can find the full text below.
I love stories.
Stories, both real and fictional, are my passion. My obsession.
I believe in the value of stories, from the great epic dramas to the small, everyday moments we convince ourselves aren’t worth sharing (and by the way, they absolutely are). Every person, place, or thing has a story. Every idea has a story. Whether it’s the biggest day of your life or just another trip to the grocery store, you are living your story, and interacting in both large and small ways with an unfathomable amount of other stories, as well.
One of the reasons I both create and engage with art, no matter the medium, is to share my story and connect with the stories of others. I want to know what drives people. I want to know everything, from a person’s favorite interest to the forgotten, fleeting thoughts that never reach their mouths. I want us all to share our dreams and ambitions, and also our fears and anxieties. I want to know about experiences worthy of award-winning blockbuster movies, and also the little moments that are so rarely mentioned. I want to understand, and be understood in return. And I seek that through the mutual sharing of stories, by whatever means they may be told.
But to understand you must first be open to understanding. We all project. We all assume. On our best days, hopefully, we do our best to be open, curious, and compassionate. But it’s not easy, especially as one must also protect themselves from those who do not see us as worthy of the same level understanding. It is a difficult balance to strike, and it must come with the acceptance that we never fully see another person’s story.
There is so much to all of us that cannot be expressed in its entirety, because the only way to truly see the whole story is to live it. We can only completely experience our own stories. Everything else, from a big-budget production to the photos in our Facebook feed, is all just pieces. Snapshots of the larger whole.
The images you see here are pieces of me, but they are not all of me. They represent my entire adult life, from 2003 to 2018, but they cannot show you who I am. Each moment gives you a glimpse into my experiences: my triumphs, my failures, my passions, my heartbreaks, and so much more. But they are only brief moments out of a fifteen year span of time. Their significance to me varies, and not everything important can possibly be squished into this one rushed, rambling reflection. A partial picture of a life lived is all I can show you. Snapshots.
They are small stories that are part of a larger whole. They are a quick peek through a keyhole in a closed door. They are as likely to speak to you, to seem familiar to you, as they are to baffle, disgust, and repulse you based on parts of the story you do not know or understand.
And I’m no better, really, at seeing the whole person past the pieces. I try not to judge, but I do. I try to remember that there’s good in everyone, but it’s hard to see in some people. Because I don’t understand their story. And I don’t understand why they seem to care so little for the lives and stories of others.
It’s hard to be that open. It’s a challenge to be that understanding. No matter our best intentions, we all sometimes forget that the stranger in front of us is living out just as complex a narrative as we are. We see fragments of their lives, and extrapolate a larger whole based on that one little slice. Or we’re aware of the broad strokes, but lack the details necessary to fathom exactly WHY those strokes were made so prominently across the tapestry of their life.
Whether zoomed in or zoomed out, our view is always incomplete.
All we really get, in the end, are snapshots.