The Sum of Our Parts

While stumbling around my old blog posts I found this. It was originally posted on the 7th September 2017. That means that I have been writing life stories and memoir for two years. It has been great to revisit and take stock of how far I have come, and also how the thought I had on that day was the right one for me. Two years on and I have stayed true to my dream.

Here is the post:

A thing has just happened. It’s one of those things that feels so good and so right.

It’s one of those things where I might be tempted to ask why have I not done this before?

I won’t because the right part about this thing is that it is happening now. I’m making sure of that.

I am starting a business. You see, I have been unemployed or underemployed or purposefully unemployed there is a modern term for that which I can’t think of at the moment, for six weeks now.

Job hunting is the most draining and unsatisfying work which you can have. In Adelaide now there are not so many jobs unless it’s in health or you want to be a mystery shopper for ALDI.

Last week I decided I wanted to write biographies. The idea has come from many places that I won’t spell out here but the single most important reason I have decided to offer this is that I’m a writer.

I am writing a creative nonfiction manuscript about some of the members of my family. I love it, but it’s slow and sometimes emotionally exhausting and sometimes I stare out the window for longer than I write and sometimes I wonder ‘what the hell?’ and other time I think ‘I’ve got this’.

Throughout this process, I am reminded that someone in my family did an extraordinary thing and I am writing about that. But to give context to that thing I need to show the reader who that person is beyond the event. I think that this is where the gold is. This is the reason why we keep turning the pages of a book, a memoir or biography because we are all ordinary and each of the little ordinary things that we do we use to relate to each other.

We are of course unique in our ordinariness, so when my brother and I remember going to the outdoor pool that summer, he remembers it because it was the first time we got to have soft drink, I remember it because I climbed the ladder to the high dives and had to get down via the ladder too. Causing many groans and much jeering from those who wanted to jump.

Our similar childhoods create our individual memories. I used an example today when a client was worried that her life would be too boring to read. I randomly chose an idea of two siblings going down to the creek to catch tadpoles and getting chased off the property by the owner. Each sibling will remember that day differently.

‘Well, how did you know that?’ She said ‘That happened to me!’

Her perfect response gave me the chance to reiterate that our stories, those little moments are what make us great in our ordinariness. It’s that you remember the mud caking on your boots making it hard to run and how mum would kill you if she saw that you wore them to the creek. And I remember how the mud felt between my toes and in my fingers, I remember my heart racing and my cheeks burning red. That makes our stories unique and reminds us of how we felt in similar situations, it connects us to each other.

I am launching my facebook page tomorrow. It's Your Story. I would love you all to come over and say hi, share and like and post and recommend.

Sharing the little memories that make up the whole great uniqueness of our lives is a great gift to offer your family.

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