Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means to tell one’s story. By which I mean, what moments shape you?
If you’re lucky, maybe small, seemingly insignificant matters are most striking: your brother’s daydreaming; how you couldn’t sit still as a child; your son’s strange aversion to gummy textures and sauces. For many others, it’s the life-defining moments that mold character and strength, fusing past, present and future.
On February 24, I’ll be addressing a group of writers from the Colorado Author’s League about creating personal essays. The opportunity came about courtesy of my writing teacher at the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop. “You have a story to tell,” he told me. “I recommended you because of the way you are driven to tell that story in your blog, your articles, your magazine column and memoir.” I hadn’t really thought about my story serving as a platform, but that’s precisely what is has become, and I no longer buck it.
It’s true that I feel both happy and driven to share my story. Writing about loss and love and renewal feels like the giveback of my own personal tragedy (you can read about it under the About Vivid Living tab or on my website). It’s what motivates me to write: my voice is a way to lend meaning and courage to others who must also learn to summon the faith and blind hope to rise again.
In what ways do you tell your story?