Lessons Learned From Telling My Life Story
Power of the Curve Memoir
So, what have I learned from combing through the most personal moments of my life, airing them out, and extracting the lessons? What did I see on the journey of walking a mile in my clients’ shoes?
3 Post Memoir Reflections:
1. The “hard parts” weren’t what I thought.
The most dramatic, life altering moments were actually easier to talk about than the more minor, everyday occurrences. For instance – life choices I found myself feeling embarrassed about.
It wasn’t the huge life and death things I hesitated to share. It was the “omg WHAT was I thinking???” stupid little things. (Example: The ex-almost-fiance. Ladies, you know!) In the end though, I’ll admit it felt healthy to get those things out of my system, in the name of closure and self-awareness.
2. The facts are a helluva lot easier than the feelings!
I was surprised at how easily the names, dates, places, and other concrete details came flooding back to me, especially once the flood gates were open. But attaching those facts to the feelings brought forth by the situations – at the time and in retrospect – was a little trickier.
I learned that when we look back on life events, we tend to do so through filters – factual, rationalizing, minimizing, and maximizing ones. “It was really nothing” when it was actually very much something. “It was AWFUL!” when it really wasn’t that bad.
Reading between the factual lines and finding the truth, about the situation and yourself, can be uncomfortable at first. But when you dig deep with purpose and intention and connect what you’re doing with your book’s vision and future readers, the process becomes liberating!
3. Having a collaborator made all the difference.
After several years of failed attempts at finding the right angle on my curvy life story, I finally came to my senses and decided to stop struggling in silence and get some help writing my memoir. I made this decision for many of the same reasons my clients do, proving that not knowing how to write is only ONE reason to seek outside help.
Working with another person gave me the objective, professional, literary therapist I needed to organize the events of my life, tell my story cohesively and creatively, and extract deeper meaning along the way. I don’t see how I could have done it without her! Yes, I might have eventually written my memoir on my own, but it wouldn’t be nearly as powerful as it is now because of our collaboration.