While living in Busan, a good friend of mine recommended that I read a book she was soon going to finish. That book, Listening Is An Act of Love, was a series of stories put together by NPR for a project they named StoryCorps. Those stories were told by everyday American citizens; they led seemingly normal lives, made seemingly normal wages, and (one would assume) had seemingly normal experiences to share. This is not the case. As I read, I was amazed by the stories fellow Americans told. These people became storytellers and they expressed their lives so beautifully, so inspiringly in only a few minutes.
NPR and StoryCorps have collected nearly 40,000 of these interviews, most of which are catalogued at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Some of these interviews are then edited to become podcasts and short stories, as the ones included within Listening Is An Act of Love.
My mother and I are fortunate enough to be included in that figure as we had the incredible opportunity to share our stories with one another in Chicago at the mobile StoryCorps booth. We laughed, we cried, and we got to know each other in a way we were perhaps afraid to before. I’m so grateful we shared this experience and I look forward to sharing our story with loved ones for years to come.