I'm sure you've all heard the saying that "everything's been done before" when it comes to the stories we can tell. And this is true, in the sense that there are only so many human stories to tell... stories about love, war, loss, grief, birth, hope, forgiveness, buffalo chicken dip, and so on. That's why stories are so great: because you can always find one for whatever you're going through at the time.
Like right now I'm really into Hamlet, which I never would have gotten in high school, but I think it's more about the life experience than the language. And so I'm picking and choosing bits to appropriate for my own purpose. That sounds kind of terrible, but really it's just me figuring out how to take Shakespeare's story and see how it fits with my own.
But the REAL reason I love stories--making stories--is that I can take the things about life that don't make any sense and figure out what they mean TO ME. My language and way of seeing the world are completely different from everyone else's on this planet. That doesn't make it any better or worse, but it's true. My words, my characters are MINE, and I can make them turn out the way I want in the end.
Life is harder. You can't control what other people do. You can only control yourself. But really, if you think about it, that's a lot. It's your story, and you're writing it every day that you live. If you want things to turn out differently, you do different things. It's all Choose Your Own Adventure kind of stuff. (Which... do those exist anymore? I want some for my classroom library.)
It's true that art and life are intertwined and regurgitated over and over and over, but isn't it sort of magical that SO MANY STORIES have been told with just one little alphabet? So many experiences shared, so many worlds bridged?