This week, Pando collaborated with Alex Ajayi – friend, roommate (to Cori), and psych PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota. Alex’s past research and work addresses topics such as discrimination, queer experience, and identity. 


Stories are fundamental to the human experience. We often think and speak in story form, culture is transmitted through stories, and we make sense of our lives through stories. As such, our personal identities are inextricably linked to our internal narration (admittedly, often impacted by external forces) of who we were, are, and want to be. In therapy, I see how stories actually shape peoples’ reality in that they construct and constitute what individuals see, feel, and do. So what could be easier to do than representing what we know best, our own lives?

Yet, I can tell you this act is anything but simple. The act of telling our own story can be quite difficult, in part because we become the observing subject and object of scrutiny, exploration, recollection, and introspection. Given that the best things in life are often difficult, I task you three to tell the story of your life. I ask that you engage your past, reflect on your present, and hypothesize about your future as you imagine it. As you work, I want you think about your life as if it were a book. What is the general plot? What are the key scenes that stand out thus far? What might the next chapter look like?