It’s an odd question asked in a different manner according to circumstances: ‘What’s your story?’
A mate saw his wife’s T-shirt wedged between the trailer and the fence as we pulled into his driveway. ‘This’ll be good’, he said to me. Inside he asked his sheepish looking wife, ‘What’s your story?’ She reported how she was moving the trailer to make room for the wheelbarrow and how it got away from her and ran into the fence, jamming her with it and the only way she could get away was to slip out of her T-shirt and sneak inside without the neighbours seeing.
Arrive late to a meeting and an unfriendly ring leader will ask, ‘What’s your story?’ so as to humiliate you for being tardy.
Come across someone in pain or grief and you ask, ‘What’s your story?’ in such a way that it soothes them enough to be able to share their ordeal.
Getting caught in the act
Coming into the house with pink and green hair, shaking hands with a grimace, coming home from work wearing only one shoe, parking the car so the brand new dent doesn’t show, smiling without showing the new gap where your front tooth used to be, walking with a new limp: all of these demand an engaging explanation in response to the inevitable question, ‘What’s your story?’
Use the question whenever you can
As a way to learn about someone
If you feel like risking an hour ask an airline passenger, ‘What’s your story?’ They will tell you.
If you feel like getting your ear chewed off ask an octogenarian, ‘What’s your story?’ and expect to hear several bits twice.
As a way to turn back the conversation
If someone asks you, ‘What’s your story?’ say, ‘I’m a collector. Tell me your story.’
Answer the question yourself
Seriously, what’s your answer to this simplest of all questions.
If we met on a plane in a few minutes and I asked you, ‘What’s your story?’ how would you answer?
- What IS your story?
- Why did you come to my planet?
- What are you doing here?
- Where are you making your mark?
- How are you leaving your legacy?
- Who are you helping?
- When will we know you’ve answered the question?
What’s my story?
If you asked me I’d say,
‘I came to the planet to shine. Shine like the sun and get up every day to be a total threat to darkness.’
I am inclined to attract (and create) clouds of various density in and around my head so if you should find me under one, remind me as kindly as you can,
‘Hey Colly. Remember, you came to shine.’