Thoughts About the Personal Evolving Meaning of a Story

Okay, I know that title sounds like a bit of a mouthful, but let me break it down for you real quick, for I know it is a phenomenon we’ve all experienced.

You know that experience where a story you consume – a book, a song, a movie, etc. – means one thing to you at one point in your life, but later on, you have a new perspective on it? It sounds like one of those things where there’s a word for it outside of the English language. It’s a fascinating phenomenon that is truly universal, and it can come about under a variety of circumstances.

A common way of occurrence is understanding with age. What immediately comes to my mind when I think of this are movies made for all ages and that there’s no bluffing. There will be the occasional line or moment that only adults will understand that, as a kid, will fly over your head. Whether it be a subtle joke or a reference to something much deeper having lived life, there’s no denying how there can truly be something for everybody in a story, even if it doesn’t seem like that initially.

But then there are the occurrences where a story can take on new meaning with different life experiences. In this case, I don’t just mean specifically about added dimension with age, but more so about how a story is perceived initially, and how it can take on new meaning during or because of a particular life experience. I see it happen all the time with songs; about how it’s liked initially, but takes on a new meaning when it becomes known as “our song.” It’s kind of like how someone will read and love the Harry Potter books as a child, but then sees how enriching the books are when they become an adult living with depression.

There’s obviously more where that came from, but this is what comes to mind regarding this phenomenon. As someone who has experienced it at incredible proportions within the last year, it just goes to show the multiple of meanings a story can take over one’s lifetime. I’m fascinated in how something as simple as a short film on YouTube can be seen as just an interesting story upon its initial release, and evolve into advice two years later.

If you are able to, I hope you can go support me in all that I do by leaving a tip over on Ko-fi. I do a lot of writing that I get paid very little for or not at all, and so this is a way of showing your support other than just reading my content. Donations of varying quantities and frequencies are greatly appreciated.

Also, if you can please take a few seconds and vote for whether or not I should make A Moment’s Worth available as a paperback for its fifth anniversary this summer, that would be a huge help.

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