I was wrong. All this time I thought that at the tender age of five, I wrote a story about the boy and the lion. when in reality I dictated and illustrated the story when I was three. And disappointingly, even though the legend clearly states that the lion ate the boy in the end – sadly, it only roared.
A very Katy Perry moment.
The legend is more interesting. If the lion ate the boy, then it was a murder and that’s what I write, so that feeds into my legend. Discovering that the boy is NOT eaten in the end was disappointing to say the least. All this time my memory was of the lion eating the boy, which legitimately questions what exactly was I watching and reading when I was three.
We automatically choose what we promote and what we hide. It’s human nature and of course, quite effective when we are busily building a reputation. The propensity to pick and choose, highlight and sublimate relevant facts in favor of a more cohesive story is not only automatic, but also exacerbated when second or third parties enter into to the legend building business. Leaders, monarchs, politicians, all craft their past so they fit into and explain better their current position and image. So we all create our own legends – nothing wrong with that per se, but knowing that we manage our pasts should inform anything we read about other people, other situations . Was Richard the Lion Hearted really a “lion”? Was Elizabeth the First really the Virgin Queen? It does make you think – how much of this story, how much of this autobiography, is true and how much is fabricated to serve a purpose, stated or not?
I had to verify my own memories. And what is more interesting is I’m not sure that even faced with the facts, as well as evidence, I’m ready to relinquish the original fiction.
I’m very disappointed with myself.