Stories

 

UNTOLD is a global storytelling movement mining the unknown tales of humanity.  Consisting of dynamic photojournalism, a video series, podcast and theatrical experience, UNTOLD exposes the remarkable stories of ordinary people– giving voice to life’s diverse experiences, challenges and vulnerabilities in a mission that unites us all.

  • Dear Diary, During COVID-19 attempts to stay “safer at home,” being mandated to work from home, and already attending classes online, I’ve come to realize I don’t actually like my home. It took over six months of working at the dining table and being in...

  • Dear Diary, I hate and love online classes; I originally took distance learning classes because of the need for work and life balance. It helps me with schedules but it doesn’t help with my social life. To be honest, I am a shy person and...

  • They were 17 years old when they first met. He was a cool athlete with dark, curly hair that he kept short because he didn’t’ like his curls. He was beyond cute and would make everyone laugh and he could have any girl he wanted....

  • It’s OK to not be OK… We didn’t talk about things back in my younger days.  You just somehow dealt with it but how do you deal with your emotions when you don’t know what is going on. I have since learned once you start...

  • When I close my eyes, I can still see her jumping up and down on her bed and giggling with excitement. My spunky, little baby girl whose spirit and light shone brightly as she danced around like music was always playing. She was sweet and...

  • Mornings come early and he is thankful he has another day to call his own.  His home is a tarp hidden away sheltering him from the cold night air.   He wakes, stretches and assesses his surroundings.  His body aching from sleeping on a bed made...

  • Every winter, for as long as he could remember, Lawrence’s dad, George, took him out to their trapline and cabin for ice fishing and to check the snares for rabbits. They went for four days, every few weeks, returning home with the harvest to feed...

  • She stepped out of her cabin with her favorite book of herbs and a cup of laboom tea in her hand. Her thirst for traditional knowledge started at an early age but excelled when she was 18 years old after meeting a herbalist. Since then,...

  • After a two and a half-hour drive from Canyon Creek to Calling Lake Alberta, he pulled up to the boat launch. He got out of his truck, stretched his body, realizing he was a bit early. He took advantage of the quiet moment and watched...

  • The smell of fresh bannock drifted into her room, gently waking her from her dreams. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and stretched her arms above her head, and smiled. This is the way she awoke every morning, and it was the best part...

  • He sat quietly for a moment, ensuring his heart and intentions were pure. He is mindful and centered, allowing himself to let go of what doesn’t serve him. He took a deep breath in, letting it out as he struck his wooden match across the...

  • The coal oil lantern in Herb Anderson’s cabin is lit just before 5:00 am. He is used to these dark and early winter mornings and puts on several flannel layers, wool pants, and boots before heading out for the workday. It was his first day...

  • The chilly morning air greeted him as he stepped out of his family’s warm cabin. He didn’t expect it to be so cold.  And even though he was used to it, he was surprised. Winter had arrived. With his rifle slung over his back, he...

  • There was a hard knock on the door and they all looked at each other, dreading this moment.  The government and the church had come to take the children and the families had no choice but to let them go.   The First Nations and Metis were considered...

  • Mary sat down at her table and could hear the infectious laughter of her granddaughter enter the kitchen before she walked in.   Her sweet little face looked up at her with a toothless grin as she sat down for a snack of warm bannock and blueberry...

  • John. Gentle John. Loved people, loved life, and loved Jesus. I spent many hours with this sweet man. He became to me the brother that I craved and prayed for. You see, I have seven brothers (and four sisters), but they live so far away...

  • Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery. ~ Bertrand Russell Have you ever experienced such intense sadness that you couldn’t imagine ever feeling hopeful again? Maybe, like me, you once stood in the corner at a New Year’s Eve party you wished you’d skipped. As you...

  • On December 21, 2006 I began my cancer journey. On that day I never thought I would survive nor how I would change my thinking about what I thought about Cancer. After a routine mammogram, which was followed by a biopsy, I received a call...

  • Dear Diary, I’m graduating next week!!! I am super excited, nervous, anxious, and all of the above lol. It’s been a long hard four years. I’ve lost a couple of friends and made some even better ones. I tell you nothing was worst than my...

  • She remembers teaching her how to ride a bike, how so very proud of her daughter she was when she finally got the hang of it. She doesn’t blame the system for taking her away; she knows it’s for the best.  She can’t look after...

  • His family calls him the ‘Sick one’. Throughout his life, they ridiculed him; they tolerated his ‘episodes’ and even at times tried to get help for him.  Now they have given up on him, they are ashamed and embarrassed and don’t include him in the...

  • If you look closely, his scars tell his story. He grew up an air force brat.  His home life was regimented but his parents were loving and compassionate.  They couldn’t understand why he started to cut himself, they did everything they could to help, but...

  • When she was a little girl, she had dreams.  She wanted to be an actress, to see her name in the lights.  She would look at her self in the mirror and practise posing and speaking lines from her favourite movies. Now she poses for...

  • The salty smell of the hot dog stand fills the air and reminds him that he hasn’t eaten that day.  He makes his way to a few of his favourite garbage cans hoping he will find something to fill his belly when suddenly, he notices...

  • With her backpack slung carelessly over her shoulder and her heart full of new possibilities, she walked along the hallway that was lined with familiar faces.  It was the first day of school and the uncertainty of what the new school year would bring started...

  • It wasn’t all that bad, he really was a good dad when he was feeling better.  He was so much fun and they went on adventures of a lifetime.  He made her feel like she mattered to him, he made time for her and she...

  • When she walked into the room, all eyes were on her not because she was beautiful but because she just had that special something about her that She had that way about her, she lite up the room with her bubbly personality and her zest...

  • She hides crouched in her familiar corner on the street, her life’s struggles etched on her face.  Her eyes, shifting back and forth, watching for signs of danger she knows are out there.  The voices linger and hold her mind captive and her every thought,...

  • From the moment he wakes up in the morning, he is a happy man.  He gets ready for the day and smiles easily to himself while taking a moment to reflect on his life.  His good friend Wayne Gretzky helped him get the position as...

  • He sat in his car outside of the yoga studio willing himself to walk in but for some reason, he couldn’t.  His stomach was in knots and he thought to himself, “What the hell am I doing? I don’t belong here.”  This was his second...

  • As hard as she tries, her anxiety attacks and depression have a way of paralyzing her, keeping her in their possession. She was first diagnosed at the age of 15 after an attempted suicide.  The Dr. gave her a prescription for Prozac and it helped...

  • Dear Diary, I am a senior in the College of Nursing, and I am struggling this semester. Online lectures are hard. The extra work is driving me insane. I have 3 regular exams, 3 national exams, and 4 final skill check offs within the next...

  • Dear Diary, I recently moved out in August for the first time. This has been hard being on my own and dealing with everything by myself and being alone most of the day. In September, a week after my birthday I had a late term...

  • Dear Diary, The feeling of being alone has been so prevalent in my life lately. I try to have hope. I try to smile. Sometimes darkness overcomes and engulfs me. Even though times are hard I will never give up. Sometimes it’s hard to keep...

  • Dear Diary, I am a senior at MTSU I’m majoring in computer information systems and analytics. I feel like there is such a huge weight on me to be one of the first people in my family to get a degree but also not to...

  • Dear Diary, I’ve held it together for so long. Between school and working two jobs, I’m tired. But I also feel selfish and unappreciative for complaining, because I’m blessed to have access to an education unlike many. I’m blessed for my parents. All at the...

  • Dear Diary, I’ve been contemplating about this for a while now, and I think it’s time for me to come out. For majority of my life I’ve kept this dark secret about being bisexual (well at least what I think is dark), and now I...

  • Dear Diary, When I was younger, I never appreciated the skin I was in. I grew up being teased about my complexion and those things really got to me. However, as I grew older, I started to realize that my beauty doesn’t necessarily have to...

  • Dear Diary, TW: disordered eating.  It just started happening during quarantine, I was home all the time and gained weight. I’ve never been happy with myself, even as a toddler. There was just no way for me to go to a gym so cutting down...

  • Dear Diary, It’s a time to heal. To hear those words from our first woman headed to the second highest office in the land created so many emotions inside me. For the first time I didn’t just hear, but I FELT was a unification of...

  • Dear Diary, School has been nothing less than a burden during this time. Balancing this pandemic, work, election season, and racial tensions while also being in school is mentally draining. No breaks, no consideration of the social climate. I’ve never taken online classes, and I...

  • Dear Diary, I finally have hope. The stress with this election and the horrific behavior from so many (on both sides) has almost been too much to me while I am trying so hard to keep my head above water with staying safe and away...

  • Dear Diary, I’ve been having anxiety attacks for a week now. Almost every day. I’ve not really kept track. Ever since Mel’s surgery Thursday. Last Thursday… was hell. Mel’s surgery took six or seven hours. It felt like forever. Of course it was the week...

  • This year has been… Hectic Ever-changing Laborious Painful Laden Endless Scary Stressful   This year, as said by so many media reports, political and popular figures, friends, and family has been “unprecedented.” No one knows which way is up, and which way is down. There...

  • Dear Diary, I am a surburban black woman.  I have a wonderful husband and two boys, ages 8 and 10.  I returned to school to show my sons no matter what age you are, you can be what you want to be. My husband and...

  • Dear Diary, As you all know it is election night and no telling what the outcome will be. I’m not the one to be too policital, but I am going to touch on this election a bit. It makes no sense that this election has...

  • Dear Diary, I’m really crashing. I’m broke. I’m failing classes. And I can’t seem to make myself do anything about it, no matter how hard I want to or how hard I try. I can barely get out of bed these days dealing with my...

  • Dear Diary, How do you feel wanted? How do you feel not alone in a house full of people? I’m so overwhelmed between school, work and taking kids to practices, but I still feel alone. I didn’t think I would be getting a divorce after...

  • Dear Diary, I’m lost I’m alone. I’m going thru a divorce working 60+ hours a week to do it by myself. I go to school and struggle to balance school and work. I come home to an empty house cause I’m not good enough for...

  • Dear Diary, This may be one of the worst years to start college. Beyond just the stress of classwork everyday there’s the stress from a global pandemic, which threatens to kill the people I care about. There’s the stress from nothing being done about global...

  • Dear Diary, Suffocated. That’s probably the best word I could use that describes the way I feel. I’m constantly trying to better myself and my future with getting work done and finding new opportunities to do on campus. Yet, it never feels enough. It never...

  • Dear Diary, When I first came to MTSU two years ago I had no idea what to expect, but extreme lonliness and isolation wasn’t one of them. I’ve always managed to make friends wherever I’ve gone, but MTSU was just a different story. I’d always...

  • Dear Diary, On Thursday March 12th, 2020, I was enjoying the end of my senior year. I felt pretty relaxed because I had a solid plan for college with some nice scholarships, and I was just having fun with friends and gliding through the end...

  • Dear Diary, Are you surprised that I’m bringing up sex? Yes? No? Hahaha whatever. I don’t care. The struggle is REAL and I’m gonna tell you all about it! Alright look, sex is a big part of college life. Shocker right? Hahahaha. Ok all jokes...

  • Dear Diary, Honestly, I am so tired. I have to juggle work, school, housework, and take care of my toddler. It is so overwhelming at times that I just want to leave somewhere and never come back. Lack of friends to talk to, I am...

  • Dear Diary, During the summer all I could think about was how much I wanted classes to begin, I had grown so bored of the monotony of quarantine and just wanted a hint of normalcy back in my life that returning to classwork and retuning...

  • Dear Diary, My pet rabbit died a month ago. I raised him from a baby and he was with me for 10 years, over half my life. I don’t know how to function without him. I cry almost everyday but at this point everyone just...

  • Dear Diary, My ex just contacted me (after telling me to stay out of his life) we’ve been going back and forth for 2 years now and he is yet again trying to ‘fix’ things and ‘help’ me. I don’t know what to do. I’m...

  • Dear Diary, Each day of this semester has been a blur. Each day bleeds into the next and I have lost all sense of control in my life. The student I was in January of 2020 and the student I am now are two different...

  • Dear Diary, It’s a ghost town here. Nuff said.

  • Dear Diary, Where did this numbness suddenly come from? I was doing so well: keeping a consistent workout schedule, staying ahead of my school work, having a pretty good body image. But, now, it all feels… empty. Workouts feel almost impossible to complete. Every assignment...

  • Dear Diary, I started school back in January for the first time in almost 11 years. I am 37 years old and a non traditional student. I had already received my A.A.S. from another college and I was anticipating the college experience to be somewhat...

  • Dear Diary, Today when I arrived for on campus I noticed lawn chairs grouped together on the Student Union lawn. As I stared at those chairs I envisioned people sitting, talking and laughing. I looked away quickly because I knew that NO such thing was...

  • Dear Diary, I finally moved out of my moms. I now live at my dads and it wasn’t an easy move. My mom provided me with enough anxiety to last a life time. I packed up my stuff last Friday and left, and I feel...

  • Dear Diary, I’m trying so hard to reach my goals and yet at every turn it seems like the universe is determined to stop me. I know myself. I know that the longer I am here, the more burned out I will get, so I...

  • I’ve spent the last 8 years of my life chasing the American Dream. I’m incredibly grateful for the company that I’ve built and the lifestyle that it has given me. But recently I realized that I have spent so much time working that life has...

  • Dear Diary, I try so hard to be the best I can possibly be. However, it always seems like i’m too short of something or not giving enough and i’m tired, but I stick through because God! God will never put me in a situation...

  • My mother was a foodie. It didn’t matter what she prepared it was always amazing. Her cooking was simply delicious, always creative, and I can taste and smell certain dishes through my memories and the love they delivered. She could feed 200, 500 or a...

  • I go by the title of The Tea Giver hence my project being called The Tea Giver Project. As you can tell by this photo I am a really big Beatles fan. A fun fact is that I saw Paul McCartney in concert twice. Paul’s...

  • Dear Diary, So I am in a relationship with this guy, and it has been four months (so everything is still pretty new). At first, thing were going really good. We spent lot of time with each other, we traveled, and we even met each...

  • The day I was told I was dying..The day I was diagnosed. The day my life changed forever. My tumor was on the left breast on the bottom of it. It itched! I just knew it was a bug bite … Fast Forward to end...

  • Being diagnosed January 10, 2012, with triple-negative invasive ductal carcinoma was the game–changer in my life’s journey. I have ridden the ebb and flows of that diagnosis and continue to do so. At the time of diagnosis, I was told that the cancer was aggressive...

  • Dear Diary, You know who I am. I’m the guy who was everywhere on campus. I’m the guy who LITERALLY spoke with over 4,000 students in span of five months, listening to all their stories. I attended nearly all of the campus events and made...

  • Dear Diary, I may seem happy and that I have control over everything, but to be perfectly honest… I’m not. Although everything in my life is going in the direction I want it to, I feel like something is missing. Maybe myself? I truly don’t...

  • Dear Diary, Is there a difference between worrying about others and genuinely caring for them? Often being a black 6’3″ man in America I must be overly aware of my surroundings and unfortunately account for other people’s biases while simply trying to live my God...

  • At the end of a busy Tuesday, I was driving to a party when I received the call that would change my life. After hanging up I decided to change my own.   I knew in that moment how I approached this news and the...

  • Dear Diary, I may seem happy and that I have control over everything, but to be perfectly honest… I’m not. Although everything in my life is going in the direction I want it to, I feel like something is missing. Maybe myself? I truly don’t...

  • Dear Diary, I may seem happy and that I have control over everything, but to be perfectly honest… I’m not. Although everything in my life is going in the direction I want it to, I feel like something is missing. Maybe myself? I truly don’t...

  • Dear Diary, I have a popular story that I’ve been posting for over three and a half years. People have been asking me to make printed copies and open an online store, and I have everything ready and in my room but… I’m just so...

  • Dear Diary, It is 8:30 on Sunday night. I am working on homework for the upcoming week. My 16-year-old is sitting beside me working on her school work, and Sadie, the pitbull is snoring softly behind me. The 12-year-old is in the next room trying...

  • Dear Diary, Sometimes it really feels like bad things come in waves, and the waves can easily become tsunamis. The pandemic has been hard. The Black Lives Movement has been beautiful and necessary and tragic and horrifying to keep up with. The election is a...

  • Dear Diary, In this time of returning back to school after twenty three years of being out and raising a family, I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water. Never in a million years did I think I would return to full...

  • Dear Diary, I know that this is a new transition for a lot of professors and students, but I feel like the professors aren’t really working with us. I’m not really learning, just making sure that I’m getting everything turned in by 11:59pm. I get...

  • Dear Diary, I thought this is what I needed, to be independent and on my own. I thought that was the definition of thriving that I needed, but I didn’t realize how much of an impact the pandemic would take on me. I thought spending...

  • Dear Diary, Ever since the beginning of this semester, I have not really talked to anyone. I don’t have any friends on campus, I have no roommate, and if someone isn’t in a group of friends they kinda just stay away from everyone. I get...

  • Dear Diary, l just be honest up front about this, this is not going to be sugar-coated or fluffed up, it’s just going to be what my life is like. I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve always had trouble with depression in my life...

  • Dear Diary, I came to MTSU with the thought that I would finally have all the time in the world to do my homework and get good grades while also having time for friends and church. I’ve quickly found out that I only seem to...

  • Dear Diary, I feel like I’m letting my family and myself down. I would be considered lucky, in times like these. I have a job that allows me to work from home, and I’m able to do a lot of my classes from home. But,...

  • Dear Diary, I feel like I am an imposter in my own field. so far, I’ve gotten this far by using tutors, studying with TAs and such and now that I’ve gotten into upper division courses I just have no clue where to go for...

  • Dear Diary, College is sad. Everything about it here is sad. the pandemic makes it worse. I’m stuck in my dorm and only go out to use the bathroom. I will not lie and say my mental health hasn’t taken a toll in this either....

  • Dear Diary, I have this professor. Let’s call him Dr. Blank. He is new to our university, he is teaching a class of people who are making a career transition. We are all transitioning from one career to another, elementary education. Well, classes started August...

  • Dear Diary, When quarantine first began in March, I knew it’d be bad for my depression. Anyone with depression knows isolation can be your best friend and your worst enemy. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression for most of my life. The most annoying...

  • Dear Diary, My life has been a shit show to say the least. I was homeless, my mother was drug addict, I didn’t know my father. I lost the only support system I ever had when I was 15 and I dated someone who was...

  • Dear Diary, You’re worth it. I know things are hard, but one day you’ll look back at your hard days and smile because of how much things have changed. Have a good fall semester ❤️ Posted by a student at Middle Tennessee State University

  • Dear Diary, I have been so overwhelmed and stressed out and feeling extremely depressed here lately. I feel like I’m not good enough. I feel so confused with my job. I feel upset due to current situations that have occurred over the past few months,...

  • Dear Diary, Follow the yellow brick road they say. Well I followed it… I completed my gen ed’s. I chose a major that I enjoyed. I picked the classes I wanted for the semester. I organized my schedule to fit my work/social life. I did...

  • Dear Diary, I’m a adult now. I’m feeling like everyday is the same wake up do homework and sleep sometimes you forget to even eat. I now understand the saying ramen noddle becomes your best friend in college.Sometimes you forget what day your even on...

  • Dear Diary, Until the age of 7, my life was pretty normal. I had a beautiful vibrant family. My mother was a lovely stay-at-home Mom and my father was a Navy pilot and we traveled all over the country. I felt loved, cared for, and...

  • Dear Diary, At the beginning of this semester, I was ready for the online courses because I thought they would be like last semester. Unfortunately, I was wrong. This semester has been so stressful because of the work load and I guess because we are...