New Year Reflections: The Importance of Story-Telling

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Story-telling will always be one of my true joys and loves.

A story is created and shared. Entire new worlds can be envisioned and escaped to. Strong emotions may be evoked, perhaps in response to scenarios far from personal experience. Self-awareness can be guided to new depths of perspective. Wisdom and values can be shared, for any to benefit from.

Writing has always been a natural medium for my story-telling. I wrote fantastically whimsical, silly stories as a child, with an illustrious start at age 6(?) with an award from the local library for my illustrated short story about a unicorn having breakfast with a princess. I generated prolific amounts of poetry in high school. I abandoned words briefly for numbers at my numbers-obsessed university (where I majored in Course 2), but was reunited with them post-college, when blogging became my digital umbilical cord to the world-at-large.

Writing is my artistic outlet to express my reality, and to synthesize my thoughts into vignettes for your enjoyment and utility, my much-appreciated reader.

I also love hearing stories. For each story I am exposed to, I am grateful for the opportunity and appreciative of the person behind it.

I embrace the heart and soul of my elders as much as the historical and cultural significance of their lives. I soothe and commiserate with the emotional needs of those close to me. I learn from the everyday adventures and musings (societal, parental, etc.) of my peers. I listen to the tribulations and motivations of those who use the products my company develops (I thank you for reaching out to me!). I relish learning a designer’s core motivational philosophies (be it fashion, beauty, jewelry, product, furniture, or otherwise) and see how they are reflected in the things that they create. I have fun discovering how a brand’s mission and values of a brand are expressed across consumer touch points.

Recently, I watched ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi‘, a documentary about a man quietly and intensely self-driven in perfection of his craft of sushi-making. It reveals his larger-than-life reputation which spills over into and shapes the lives of those who work with him, most notably, that of his two sons.

Unlike documentaries that expose conflict and challenge, this can be described as peaceful. We follow diminutive Jiro through his workdays. At a glance, one might easily dismiss his steadfast, strong (incredible at 85!) body language, his rare and almost imperceptible facial expressions, and his simple statements. It would be a mistake to do so. Over the course of the film, they reveal a complex painting of a supremely powerful human emotional capability: determination despite fatalistic acceptance.

“There is always a yearning to achieve more. I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is.”        – Jiro Ono

It is an honest and simple story of a man, and the legacy he built. It was utterly beautiful. Watching this film, I had an epiphany. However, it wasn’t about the movie; the movie was simply a catalyst.

I realized that there are stories to be told about anything – truly, anything. It just takes someone to spend the effort to learn what it is, weaving together collected threads to find the unique perspective and value inherent to the subject.

And I want to tell as many of these stories as I can. I want to craft them in beautiful, compelling ways. I want to orchestrate an experience that engages senses beyond the mental stimulation of the written word.

I can do this with video. With video, so much complexity and depth can be expressed by thoughtfully choreographing multiple elements: visuals, a spoken story, human gestures and experiences, and music. I have heard this echoed over and over again: “2015 is the year of video”. I believe it, and I embrace it.

I could never put aside writing. I am certain I will find ways to use words and video to create a special brainchild of the two (instantly, the heartfelt real-time narratives that Paavo creates for Above & Beyond’s performances come to mind).

I eagerly look forward to the challenges and opportunities of video creation and production. Based on my steep learning curve across the few videos I’ve made so far, I know it’ll be an exciting and beautiful exploration. I invite you to come along for the ride, if you’d like to subscribe to the Eye For Elegance Youtube channel.

Happy new year to you and yours!! May it be full of new opportunities and adventures, and filled with self-fulfillment, improvement, and above all, wonder.

“Always look ahead and above yourself. Always try to improve on yourself. Always strive to elevate your craft.”        – Jiro Ono




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  1. I share your love of storytelling, that’s for sure! (Funny, how we both chose a path that distracted us with numbers.) I’m looking forward to all the stories you’ll tell this year, video or not.

  2. it takes great creativity to be able to make one but its always so much fun! I used to do it years ago.

  3. April Mims says:

    I love reading interesting stories. There’s nothing like being pulled into a great story and getting lost in it for a bit.

  4. I actually just took an online workshop on storytelling. It was so fun but also hard to be creative with my words at times.

  5. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    You are right, storytelling is so vital. I love reading stories about what other people have done, experienced.

    1. Ann, me too. 🙂 There’s only so much in life that we can experience ourselves, it’s fulfilling and valuable to be able to learn from others. <3

  6. Wishing you a Happy New Year and much success in 2015! Just discovered your YouTube channel!

    1. Marielle, thank you so much, and I’m wishing you much success and happiness in 2015 as well! I just connected to your channel as well, and look forward to being in touch. Your boy is so cute!

  7. Alice says:

    I too have always loved writing. When I was 8, I informed my school teacher that I was writing a novel which would be published, then wrote a story that spanned about 80 pages about the trials and tribulations of a family living on the streets. Needless to say it wasn’t my best work, but it was a start! Using your talents and developing your craft, whatever it may be that you were blessed with, is a wonderful thing to do.

  8. Cherri Littleton Megasko says:

    Storytelling is a vital part of human history, regardless of the medium. I wish you well in your pursuit of video … it is a wonderful way to tell a story.

  9. i love your quote! Achieving more than that of what you have achieved in the past is such a great thing.

    Love the story by the way. 🙂 Happy new year!

    Cheers to a colorful 2015!

  10. What an awesome challenge you’re taking on! Good luck! I’m excited to see what it brings you. 🙂
    xo Caitlin

  11. Lisa Rios says:

    Love the post. It makes me remember my childhood days. I am a great story teller and I won prizes in my school days for this. Even now, My kids loves my fun way of story telling. Thanks for sharing this. Have a happy new year 2015.

  12. Michelle D. Johnson Garrett says:

    Happy New Year! Great, insighful post!

    1. Happy new year to you too, Michelle, and thanks for your lovely comment! 🙂

  13. Michelle Hwee says:

    Beautiful post, reminds me of my old Anthropolgy college class, story telling is so important, it tells of culture, passion and so much more. I really admire those who can tell a great story!

    1. Thank you, Michelle! <3 I also took a (cultural) Anthropology class long ago, and loved it for the same reasons as you. There's so much to learn of a story beyond what is said about it.. the silent 'stories' are so telling and fascinating… 🙂

  14. Erin Shebish says:

    I love a good story teller! And the first quote. That’s getting printing to hang up on my mirror for a while 🙂

    1. Definitely, me too! Being fascinated by a great story (told in a compelling way) is definitely a joy of life. 🙂 And glad you enjoyed the first quote!

  15. Courtney says:

    Ahhhh I love people that have good storytelling skills!!! They are always the most fun to be around!!! Wish I was a better storyteller 😉

    1. Courtney, totally agree – good story-tellers are great people to have around.. at parties, when meeting new people, etc. etc. I made sure to look for that quality in my significant other, so that he could balance things out when I’m not the best story-teller. 😉

  16. songbirdsandbuttons says:

    I love storytelling as well. Words have such an impact and it’s so much fun to explore and move them around to complete a thought.

    1. songbirdsandbuttons, completely agree. Threading words together mentally reminds me of creating a decorative garland for the christmas tree: popcorn, fruits, glittering beads, etc. It’s so much fun to make something that sparkles and catches attention. 🙂

  17. mail4rosey says:

    The Jiro Ono quotes are good. I didn’t know who he was until now (looked him up). It’s nice that story telling is your passion! I hope you continue to strive to reach the unknown top. It sounds like an amazing journey. 🙂

    1. mail4rosey, yeah, he’s known a bit in the foodie world… his film is one to be watched when you’re not hungry. 😉 Thank you for the encouragement!!! <3

  18. Shirgie Scf says:

    EVery story has its own lesson and it’s up to us to discover what it is and how we can really apply the lessons we learn to our lives. Blogging is one effective way to tell a story, just like what you did in this post.

    1. Shirgie, definitely – the discovery and application is really what it means to ‘live life’, I think. If one goes through life blindly, without being open to learning from others or circumstances, it’s an unfulfilled existence. Fair enough for some, but definitely not the most of what life can be.

      Thank you for the blogging affirmation. 🙂

  19. Elizabeth O. says:

    My aunt is a great storyteller! My childhood years were wonderful because of her stories!

    1. Elizabeth, then she is one to be cherished, and told how much she (and her talent) is appreciated. 🙂 I’m sure it’ll lead to further stories, and valuable memories~

  20. Fi Ni Neachtain says:

    I used to always write silly, whimsical stories as a child too. I wish I hadn’t given it up, could have written a book by now! 🙂

    1. Fi Ni (hi hi!), awww, what were your stories like? Piers Anthony (a sci-fi/fantasy writer with a love of puns) was one of my fav authors, so I was invariably writing truly corny (sometimes painfully so) things…

      You know, a compilation of blog posts could become a book… I’m almost seriously thinking of fleshing out some of my fictional pieces into a collection of short stories…. 🙂

  21. I think telling stories make everything so much more memorable. Thanks for sharing and have a great 2015!

    1. Eileen, definitely agreed! More memorable, and more enjoyable. 😉 (best way to learn!) Thanks, and have a great 2015 as well! <3

  22. Hima says:

    I’ve seen that documentary and I really enjoyed it! I think story telling is an incredibly important part of life, if only to process our own experiences!

    xo, Hima

    Hima Hearts

    1. Hima, glad you enjoyed it as well! Any other fav documentaries? And yes, agree – in story telling, we consciously (and unconsciously) analyze and distill circumstances into its most meaningful moments. 🙂

      1. Hima says:

        I definitely recommend the Gabby Douglas Story! So inspirational! 🙂

        1. Hima, thanks for the rec! She sounds incredible and I look forward to watching her story and learning about what it took to achieve her amazing recognition. 🙂

  23. Karissa Ancell says:

    I hope the best for you in the new year with doing videos.

    1. Thanks Karissa!

  24. Lynn Dee says:

    I love the quotes. I also love your positive outlook and the way you write. Here’s wishing you the best in 2015. 🙂

    1. Lynn, glad you enjoyed them, and thank you for your warm comments! <3 I just followed you on Disqus, would love to be connected! Best wishes to you in 2015 as well! 🙂

  25. Catherine S says:

    I am sure you will do great. You are a great writer. I look forward to your videos.

    1. Catherine, thank you so much for your positive, encouraging comments. I’ll strive to create great content. 🙂 (have lots of cool ideas to try out!)

  26. I’m like you – I would also like to tell as many stories as I can. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I love to write, capture moments, converse with others, see the world, try new adventures, and so much more!

    1. Russ, yes, yes, yes! Cheers to world exploration, exciting adventures, and meaningful moments/learnings with others, for both of us. 😀

  27. Kathy says:

    Great writing! Happy New Year to you as well! I hope the new year brings us all great joy!

    1. Kathy, thank you, and much happiness to you in 2015 as well! <3

  28. I never really started writing for fun until my blog. Before that, it was always just for my school work. You are right though, stories can be told about everything. In blogging, storytelling is so important!

    1. Samantha, agreed – writing started as a school requirement for me as well.. I remember at two separate times as a teen saying 1) “I hate writing” and 2) “I will never use a computer when I grow up” (I was upset at the requirement of having to type out an essay in 7th grade).

      Now I look back and grin…. and am glad that I can enjoy the valuable skill that was taught back then… and that we have blogging as such a conducive medium to communicate and connect on! <3

  29. wow, how cool! What great writing. I am sure that you will do a great job. You are obviously very talented.

    1. M, thank you so much for your encouragement! I’m psyched for what’s ahead. Would love to have you come back and see how things go. 🙂

  30. Such a beautiful piece of writing, 2015 is indeed a year of video and i am embracing it. Lovely quotes

    1. Mia, thank you~ <3 Good luck on your 2015 video resolution, I'll be right there with you! 🙂 (just subscribed to your channel)

  31. Laurie Barrie says:

    I like Jiro Ono’s quote about continuing to climb. Good sentiments to live life!

    1. Laurie, definitely! Cheers to an ever-evolving/better life. 🙂

  32. Wow 2015 is going to be so great for you 🙂 You are so great at storytelling!

    1. Aww, thanks for your positive comments, Lindsay! *^_^*

  33. John Lopez says:

    Good luck to your new adventure this 2015, I hope this 2015 you have a great and good health Happy New year!

    1. John, thank you for your wishes and I’m wishing you a healthy, positive, successful new years as well!

  34. Wow sounds fantastic. Good luck, I’m sure you will do great. You have a wonderful way with words!

    1. Jeanine, definitely excited about it – thank you for your encouragement and positive comment! <3

  35. Amber C says:

    You have a beautiful way with words! Keep telling your stories!

    1. Amber – thank you! I certainly will, and appreciate having people like you along for the ride! 😀

  36. Chrysa Duran says:

    Good luck with your new video adventure. I wish you the best. (And I love that sunset picture by the way!)

    1. Chrysa, thank you so much for your well-wishes!

      The sunset photo is one of my favorite memories of 2014… it was taken on a secluded island in Thailand, when we convened for a dear friend’s wedding and had a truly memorable celebration. The environment was so beautiful and peaceful – in an almost surreal way.

  37. Sounds amazing, I’m a big fan of independent visual artist.

    1. Katrina, thank you! Any visual artists that you’d recommend checking out for inspiration? 🙂

      1. I’m actually in Hollywood so I’m surrounded by inspiration tons of artist here just in my neighborhood alone. My roommates are filming a web series and it’s amazing the creativity that goes into it.

  38. I’m glad you are finding a way to channel something you’re passionate about! On another note, that documentary has been on my to-watch list for some time 🙂

    1. Thanks Chelsea! It’s always fun to explore new mediums – and better when there’s motivation to do so. 🙂

      ‘Jiro’ is definitely worth watching! And so is ‘Chef’ (a fictional indie movie about a chef who starts a food truck with a few close friends/family), if you like food movies. Just don’t watch either when you’re hungry. 😉

  39. I have always wanted to want that documentary now I need too! Great quotes!

    1. Alexa, yep, definitely worth a watch! 🙂

  40. I’ll subscribe for sure! I don’t know that I’ve been exposed to a lot of story telling via video, but I think that will soon be the main medium. Way to go in following your passions, and I would have loved to read a book where a unicorn has breakfast with a princess! Happy New Year!

    1. Angie, I would absolutely be honored to have you as a subscriber. 🙂 Please let me know if you might have a channel that I can connect to as well~

      Thanks for being supportive of my budding efforts 😉 and I’m sending warm wishes your way for 2015. Be strong! <3

  41. Chrissy says:

    Looking forward to your video story telling!

    1. Chrissy, thanks!!! 😀 Would love to have you along, to see some of them!

  42. Robin Rue says:

    I love to hear other people’s stories as well, although if it’s a long one – I prefer to be told the story as opposed to reading it. Blog posts that are too long lose me after a while.

    1. Robin, haha, I hear you! Especially in this day and age, when there are so many things to be done, and so many things clamoring for our time/attention. Hope my blog post wasn’t too long to lose you – I know it’s def on the lengthy side. Cheers!

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