The Untold: Fragments of Storytelling

October 11, 2019
Sarita Suryono

Every single soul on this very big planet has its own story to tell, even though some of them are not writing their own on medium… 🤡

We always think that we don’t have enough stories to tell, but are you sure?

Let me tell you my brief story, for context: growing up, I was one of those annoying kids who question everything when something comes up in mind. My parents would give me different answers all the time though. Maybe it’s normal for a kid to follow their imagination, but for a brief time in my childhood years, I was that weird kid who thought that I was an alien (because I watched Area 51 one time and maybe I felt a connection, idk.)

Fast forward to my awkward teen years, my friends have always told me that my number one true passion is to learn, which might seem like a total-dream on paper, but truthfully I’m just easily intrigued with interesting ideas, perspective, and knowledge. All this time, I thought I love analyzing case studies, journals, and classic reads. But, earlier this year, I’ve just realized that all this time I’m always intrigued by stories.

Why stories you say?

Through my years of studying abroad, I am blessed to have met the most diverse group of people that I now call my friends. Aside from their different cultural backgrounds, they also have different values, beliefs, and stories. It’s very fortunate for me to be surrounded by aspiring people, with their passionate way to tell their own story.

A story about emotions — Ariana, 25 y.o. Aspiring Artist

She is one of the people that made Perth my second home. She introduced me to urban art spaces across town and to captivating individuals. Ariana is an aspiring artist and I admire her way of telling her story through the canvas. Just like other great storytellers, Ariana is able to convey her emotions, experiences, and ideas through art. In one of her collections, she projected her darkest emotions; fears, ego, and mental instability through bright colours and calm brush strokes. For me, it’s amazing how something so dark and bitter, like ego, could be so visually alluring. From a naked eye, people could not have guessed negative emotion is her subject, it’s an enigmatic experience. Ariana told me that she wants to change the labels of mental health in society. It’s never a taboo to have negative emotions in your life, so it should never be seen as ‘darkness’.

Through meeting Ariana, I can understand a frame of mind on how unpredictable human thoughts, emotions, and ego work. A glimpse at least… I am able to understand a deeper level of mental health. I realize how labels and standards are often used as an identity, and we tend to forget who we really are. We’re humans, we have a lot of emotions and egos and I don’t think we could shut down that soft part of us. Ariana has opened my awareness about the inner senses of my life, the part some people avoid to acknowledge.

A story about a city— George, 31 y/o, Photographer

When I think of Melbourne, I think of him, with the sweet memories attached between the journey. As a photographer, George can capture moments, experiences and emotions, that some people remember as memories. Even when some would only see Melbourne as a grey and your-typical-metropolitan city, George sees it as his canvas. I remembered he showed me one of his photo series, capturing portraits of locals. This gave me a Walker Evans vibe with a modern twist. Although some of his models didn’t show any activities, just their faces, I felt very connected to them. It’s like there are so many stories being told by their eyes. George can capture his perspective through his lenses. It’s amazing how he can create a black-and-white snapshot so vividly rich through the objects and the expressions. My words could not portray his stories as precise as his snapshots. I’m not even exactly sure that he can portray his visions through words, because words aren’t his forte.

I grew greater respect for photographers and other creators within the industry because of George. It’s true when they said a picture is worth a thousand words because some stories are more than a thousand words 😎

A story about flavours — Jordan, 28 Y/o, Food Enthusiast

Jordan is very quirky in nature. I could never predict his next move and his train of thoughts, but he never fails to amaze me. I met him through a mere coincidence, which grew an unpredictable twist in the end. I don’t know about you, but have you ever talked to a person until you lost track of time? This happened to me and Jordan when we talked about the unpredictable nature of the human’s senses. If I could call out one of Jordan’s enthusiasm, it would be his deep passion for food. I couldn’t understand how he can know every herbs and spice in a dish when we explored the newest restaurant downtown. How his eyes glimmered when he watched a documentary about exotic food overseas. And how he is able to tell different stories through flavours. Jordan opened my eyes to how I view the world, and that is through your tastebuds. I never ate so many things through an over-the-weekend trip as much as I did, when I travelled with him. It’s truly an eye-opening experience because people are able to connect through foods as to how they would through stories. Food vendors would tell you their stories about their families back home or heart-warming stories behind a piece of steamed bun. I don’t know if that is the power of food or just Jordan 😅

Now, Jordan is an aspiring food entrepreneur, exploring different flavours to narrate every day. But the moment I asked whether or not he is in town, he is always on another continent, in a different culinary journey. Jordan has changed how I get my stories. Because you’re able to get a story about one’s culture, beliefs, and history through their food. I learned so many insights about why certain cultures are iconic for their staple food. Plus, I get to expand my palate!

I could tell you more amazing people I’ve met through just 22 years of living and the discussion would only revolve around the amazing things you’re able to get through a great story. So back to the whole story concept; you can be an aspiring artist or a photographer or a food entrepreneur, but you are a storyteller at heart. Indeed the universe has written a story for us, so let’s not waste that effort and start bringing your stories to life!

So, what’s your story that you want to tell?

More from our storytellers:

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CATALYST LEVEL UP : Putting Narratives in Isometric Infographic

Narratives Beyond Numbers

One of my easy ways to learn new things/skills

Bagaimana kita bisa sukses mempengaruhi perilaku orang banyak? Membangun narasi jawabannya!

The Language That All Developers Should Learn

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