”I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” – C.S. Lewis
F*cked up mistakes & their consequences.
Life altering events that leave an indelible imprint on your person.
Situation and circumstances that shape, define and dictate who you are as you grow up-good or bad.
The darkest of valleys.
Stories. We all have them and every single one of them are filled with all the parts I've mentioned above. Compile them all and you have what makes up YOU, and YOU have a narrative of your life that is worth sharing with others.
It doesn't matter if it's humorous, serious, silly, provocative, deals with taboo & painful subjects and experiences, about a particular time in your life or a defining moment. You could compile it all into one huge narrative or you could do a collection, or series of them.
You can write them down and pass them on to your kids. You can find a group of people to share them with when the right opportunity & need presents itself. You could write it all in a journal and just leave it for yourself to read and add to as you get older. You could pass it on to your kids. You can share it with the world through blogging...or writing a book.
That's what I'm doing. I mentioned this earlier this summer that I wanted to write a memoir. Problem is, whenever I've sat down to start putting my life, particularly my childhood experiences I falter. I get stuck...for varying reasons. I get scared. Scared to go back and relive those moments even though I've sat in therapy for the past year and slowly pulled them off the shelf and out of the overstuffed box they had been forced into for years....I've come to realize that I need to tell you and others mine. I need to write it down and put it out there not just so it has a place to reside other than my head, but so others can read it and we can openly and freely share the similarities and differences in each other's experiences. I want people to learn from my story and I want to learn from others.
So why not just write it all out here on the blog like I have been doing? Simply because what I've shared here on the blog is just a tiny grain of sand-just a to use the cliché- a small, thin chip off the iceberg. What I've shared here doesn't scratch the surface or give you a full view of what lies inside that box I've been unpacking the past 2 years. There's just too much. The blog can't contain it all, and people's attention spans are short these days, so when it comes to blogging formats, no one really wants to read a 1000+ blog post. Not really. What I have to say and share needs more space, more flexibility, more words to describe and detail it all. Also? I just HAVE to get it out of me. It's hard to explain it in a way that you can fully understand, but I can literally feel it begging to be told. I feel like I have this baby that's been growing inside of me and it's time to give birth to it.
And then of course there are the people over the years who have heard certain details of my life and said, "A'Driane, you need to write a book. It's so unbelievable, it just HAS to be told." And finally, my instincts are telling me writing this all out is the final step in my healing process from it all and I can officially say, "Yes, I endured this. Yes I made these mistakes. Yes I was broken. But I'm whole now. I'm healed from it all," and be free to fully embrace the life that lies ahead of me. So there you have it-my reasons for needing to devote myself to this project.
But yet, since I have so much material and parts of my life story I could write about, my original idea of writing a memoir was just too daunting for me. It literally paralyzed me. So I talked it over with Bertski, who always has this amazing way of taking my jumbled and disjointed ideas and focusing them into very specific areas, and I came to a decision. I won't write about the past 29 years of my life in just one book. I'll do a series of books, each focusing on a different part of the larger narrative that has been my life.
My first book will focus on my childhood and teen years. It's tentative title is "Butterfly Confessions: The Early Years." or something like that. I'll be writing it (or as much of it as I can) this month for National Novel Month, or NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in the 26 days that are now left in November. I'm 1800 words in. Wish me luck.
What's your narrative? What do you have to share? Find a way that works for you to share it, own it, and live it. For yourself but more importantly for the others like you who are out there and can say, "Hey, me too. Let's talk."
I'm taking this month to start telling and owning mine. Will you tell and own yours?