Choices & Storytelling: Why I Could Be a Crime Scene Investigator

Crime Scene Investigation“If money was no option, what would you do?”

In a special meeting for our local Morningstar Toastmasters Club, members were working on Table Topics skills or their impromptu speech technique. While the question I received was one I have pondered several times, what came out of my mouth took me by surprise.

“Blood splatter specialist for a crime scene investigation unit.”

Wait? What happened to “writer?” CSI? Where is the real Weegee?

I could tell by the lift of the inquirer’s eyebrows that we were having the same mental thought train.

However, upon reflection, I did say “writer” . . . just of a different type.

“We have a choice about how we take what happens to us in our life and whether or not we allow it to turn us. We can become consumed by hate and darkness, or we’re able to regain our humanity somehow, or come to terms with things and learn something new about ourselves.” — Angelina Jolie

At every crime scene, a choice was made. Someone determined that this was the best course of action; this needed to be done. This was the pathway needed to head down.

One moment became the summation of a series of choices, actions and effects.

It is up to the CSI staff to look at the end result, and work backwards. What led to this moment? What was the emotion behind this? What choice was made? It is their job to start with the tragic ending — and build the true crime story.

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escapte the necessity of choice.” — Ayn Rand

Our choices are a reflection of our personal history, status, relationships and perspective. Each one of us would have a different viewpoint on any given situation and our end results would vary. That is what makes people interesting — from how they handle the stresses life throws at them to whether they see themselves as the victim, the hero or the villain in their own personal novel.

Each choice is the end of a story . . . and the beginning of the next chapter.

CSI is just a writer who creates backwards in the true crime genre.


Does Saying It Out Loud Make It a Fact?

Change Your Dialogue

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” –Lao Tzu

My dad passed away on February 11, 2013. For the longest time, I could not communicate verbally. I would hint about it, tearing tearing up halfway through the sentence. In fact, I often just let the other person put two and two together without having to say the words — my father died.

In my mind, I have always thought that voicing something made it true. Words spoken would make it fact. Something that can’t be fixed, altered or taken back.

My father’s death was one of them. There have been many examples. Breakups. Divorce. Job loss. I was afraid to talk about them. That once I have spoken about them, they will forever define me.

While there were areas I hesitated, there were others I was a bit to open about. I allow myself to make statements about what I can’t do, afraid to do or won’t. I find myself verbally declaring things like:

  • “I’m so socially awkward.”
  • “I hate small talk.”
  • “I suck at math.”
  • “I’m impatient.”

Am I discrediting myself? Locking it in as fact? Worse, am I creating an impression in other’s minds that can’t be altered? Taken back? Rewritten?

How does one rewrite their story?

Life isn’t lived with absolutes. We rarely “never” or “always” anything. Perhaps I should start by rephrasing what I see as negatives or limitations so they are more hurdles and not walls separating me from what I can become.

With my dad, I still have a hard time with the words. But saying them has given me a path towards healing. Perhaps voicing our thoughts just lays the groundwork for our development. Instead of stating and forgetting, use it as the launching point to alter our future. The chance to evaluate our path.

I can learn to enjoy small talk . . . I can.

There is a difference between feelings and fact. There is a difference between current history and what the future could hold. Saying something doesn’t have to become the end all be all on how we see ourselves. We have the power to change. We have the power to develop.

Use your voice to lift yourself up.