I started last week with the statement “I love to run!” This week I will state that I also love to tell stories! Most stories are creative constructions from actual events that we take bits and pieces from, and with these bits and pieces we build a coherent narrative. Each night before bedtime my two oldest daughters had to hear the latest adventures of Ezekiel Gonzales. Ezekiel to my children was the ultimate superhero, adventurer, good and humble human being. If Ezekiel would take the VIA Character Assessment his primary character strength would be humility. Ezekiel’s crowning achievement is that he holds the most Guinness World Records but refuses to be named in the Guinness Book of World Records. After all, he is humble and likes his life outside of the spotlight. Each story had just enough truth combined with just enough fiction to make the story intriguing.
These stories continued for years with my own kids; eventually, the stories got to the point where my kids went on to tell other kids about Ezekiel. My kids loved having sleep-overs, each night before bedtime there had to be an Ezekiel story. For the longest time my daughters believed (or made me believe they believed) that Ezekiel was a real person. I told the stories with such conviction that there was no other option than to believe Ezekiel lived nearby in Urbandale, IA. Smart phones have become the demise to my storytelling—what used to be uncheckable pieces of the story are now heavily scrutinized with a simple Google search. I have had to take my storytelling to a whole new level of complexity to make them believable. Just last year, to break the world record for World’s Largest Goose, Ezekiel had to collect 32,789 goose feathers, glue those feathers to his body, and waddle around 100th Street & Hickman Road posing as a goose. It worked, check the Guinness Book of World Records. While you are doing that…did you now that Webster Dictionary removed the word “gullible” from its dictionary? There is now a next generation of kids, and adults that are now enjoying the latest adventures of Ezekiel.
I have truly enjoyed going back to school….I should not admit this but graduate work seems easier than undergraduate work. Although extremely interesting, a lot of what I am learning is stuff that I have experienced in life. I am old (at least chronologically), probably the oldest person in the class, so recalling life is not a hard task for me. Car accidents, bad jobs, good jobs, wise decisions, bad decisions, physical injuries, early death of parents, I have quite the experience playlist to choose from. Each week as a part of my class I am required to write a paper on that week’s material. Each week, my professor allows me, or at least has been entertained by me telling my leaning in story form. Unlike Ezekiel stories, I keep my stories fact-based. I truly believe that my own personal well-being increases when I tell my story to others. I hope you have enjoyed reading my stories on this blog page.