What is the central theme of your personal story?
As a writer, I tend to think in terms of themes, metaphors, plots, and morals-of-the-stories. Every character has a motive, a backstory, a goal… and every single thing they do and think builds up to some culminating point.
The more I observe people, the more I start to realize that people’s lives fit into this story paradigm so easily. No one leads a typical life. Even the most mundane and boring individuals have some kind of back-story: some trauma, ideal, romance, or goal that, even if only subconsciously, continues to drive them to some form of conclusion, whether it would be considered ideal or not.
These hidden backstories often define the recurring themes of our lives. Think about it for a moment… the completely lovelorn individual likely had some kind of formative experience that created the state that they are currently in. Perhaps the person who always strives to be the hero is secretly trying to make up for some still-stinging failure or shortcoming.
For instance, I have a friend who everyone jokingly refers to as Jesus, because he is constantly making sacrifices for the benefits of others. He strives to be morally upright without being proselytizing, and everyone reveres him as the epitome of virtue among our peers. These themes of morality have come to characterize his existence, but anyone who truly knows him knows that he does it to atone for what he views as a sordid past.
That said, I’d say that the recurring theme of his life, his character is that of atonement or forgiveness.
So with this explanation in mind, in the story of your own life, how do you characterize yourself? What theme seems to recur in your existence, and do you know why it does?