Who narrates your life?


In the reality TV show that is your life, do you have a narrator? It’s a question that has always struck me in moments when my life seems like it could be worth narrating. Or at least I pretend it is. Those light-hearted yet paranoid moments where I feel like I’m living in the Truman Show and the whole world is up against me because I missed that train.

“She ran but alas, it was too late. If only she’d not stopped to look at a squirrel, she could have made it. On a normal day, she would have. But this was no ordinary day….” and the story goes on.

And by story I mean day-dream. As a girl who grew up in the noughties, my default narrator has always been the voice of Carrie Bradshaw, she of that New Yorker accent and inane yet some how poignant questions like “Are we sluts?” When the world would send me mixed and muddled signals, I’d try to compute and analyse it all via a Carrie-fied sentence.

“When it comes to the risky game of love, how do you know when to fold and walk away?”

“Should you always support a friend, even when you think they’re wrong?”

“When it comes to relationships, should I eat that piece of cake?”

The answer to that last one is yes. Always yes.


If I’ve scared you away by admitting to being a total cliché, then allow me to make my point. Firstly, I bet I’m not alone in this Carrie-narrating-my-life business. And for the record, no she doesn’t narrate my whole life, but rather the moments when I really have to contemplate things. Like an internal therapist with a penchant for puns.

But secondly, and more to the point, the voice of the narrator in my head has recently changed… to Sarah Koenig.

I, like everyone, was very much obsessed with the recent Serial podcast. I learnt about it after the second episode was released and from then on, Thursday afternoons became my favourite time of the week. I won’t get into the story or my opinions about it. A million billion people have already done that. But what I do want to express is my love for Sarah Koenig’s story telling. Her voice. That distinguished and distinctive way of relaying the facts in such relatable and emotive fashion.

Through her voice alone it some how feels like she’s a friend telling you a story over a cup of coffee. Just you and her. She’s honest, friendly, funny – poetic even. If it had been a running column/blog, I doubt whether Serial would have been as successful. Nor would it have been as engaging if it had been someone else other than Sarah relaying the facts, evidence and opinions. As gripping as the story of Serial was/is, it was Sarah’s voice, her wording, her casual ‘mmms’ and sighs, that made an old murder case a viral phenomenon. Oh and the backing music. If I ever have to speak in public, I want that exact backing music please. And to also be preceded by the Mail Chimp ad.

So now, after I’ve brushed my teeth, packed my bag and locked the door behind me, my mornings begin with Sarah’s voice in my head…. “Previously, on Lauren Burvill’s life….”

Now it’s your turn to share. Who narrates your life?

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