I hate writing about myself.
That’s why I chose to go into journalism — I’d write other people’s stories, not my own.
I have no problem telling people my stories, but writing them is completely different. Because I can’t just leave the conversation when I want. With writing, you have to explain why you did what you did. And vulnerability terrifies me.
I’ll tell my friends, “Yeah, I went undercover and stalked my dad,” “Yeah, I used men to get 20 free meals in one month,” “Yeah, I turned down my friend’s offer to be his girlfriend.”
And my friends reply in shock and awe: “You’re funny,” “You’re so confident,” “You’re so iconic.”
And that’s the point of my stories. It’s the only way I’ve learned to connect with people.
But there’s always a story behind those stories.
I didn’t just stalk my dad because I thought it was funny. I did it because it’s a better story to tell than recounting angry shouts barely muffled across the house, police knocking on the front door, and tears streaming down my mother’s face.
I didn’t go on 20 dates in one month because I was confident. I did it because I have something to prove after seven years of stepping on scales, dumping full plates, and hating the reflection crying in the mirror. It’s a better story than admitting my eating disorder will never stop haunting me every day of my life.
I didn’t turn down what would have been my first relationship because I’m iconic. I did it because it’s a better story than admitting that I don’t think I deserve love.
All my stories are true. But they’re half-truths. And I prefer to keep them that way.
Because if I keep telling them halfway, eventually I’ll forget they have more to them.
Adrienne Mitchel is a broadcast journalism and documentary student from the San Francisco Bay Area with a passion for storytelling. In her free time, she loves trying new food and playing the piano.