So, I have this kind of Mental Glitch (one of many, I know,) in which I consider what the content of my Memoir would be, if I was to write a memoir.
[Don't you do that, too?]
I've read lots of memoirs and I love them. But, then again, I find even the most mundane details about someone else's life very interesting. (If you've ever been stuck next to me at a cocktail party and I've [grilled you for an hour] asked you 2, 457 questions about becoming a CPA, you're not alone!) So, it's like Memoirs and I were destined to be BFFs. The thing about memoirs, though, is there is generally a topic that the author chooses to highlight, a wacky childhood, a crazy-time period of life, getting past the crazy-time period of life, experiencing a significant health crisis, recovering from a significant health crisis, being close to someone during a crazy-time period or a significant health crisis, traveling through the time/space continuum or WHATEVER.
I mean, here's the crux of my repetitive thought: which part of your story (or mine) is unique enough to be documented, printed and published for sale?
I suppose I could slant the post and the thought process toward the direction of racking up *meaningful experiences,* as to be more "qualified" to have a life fit to be documented and shared in the form of a memoir. But I'm not. If my long history of cocktail party [interrogations] conversations about others' lived experience has taught me anything, it's that everyone has interesting parts and their willingness to share them is directly proportional to how interesting they are overall (to me.)
Writing about your life, deciding to share your story in any capacity takes a certain amount of bravery, I think, and sharing it in print (with a hard or soft cover) takes bravery and discernment. How do you decide what to share? How do you come to the conclusion that others need to know about that part of your life? Also, as an aside, how do you remember your life in enough detail to make your story not only interesting but accurate?
I'm struck by two things with regard to memoirs: 1) The significant recall of the authors and their ability to reconstruct time-lines and 2) I can't remember the second thing. (Haaaaa.) (I wish I was kidding.) The thing that makes memoirs a thing, I suppose, is their dual nature. They are incredibly detailed individual stories, which resonate with countless others--it's the universality, the ability of mass numbers of strangers to relate to the story, that gives memoirs their power, their appeal.
Like everyone [who's been through therapy] who lives an examined life, I frequently sift through the memories from various times in my life. And then, for a second, I wonder which of those times (if any) would make an interesting memoir [just like you do.]
My list waxes and wanes (and I really do have trouble remembering) but here's what I'm scraping up as I sit here typing:
-Growing up the daughter of a depressed mother.
-Growing up the daughter of an obese mother.
-Growing up the daughter of an immigrant father.
-The experience of being an older first time mother.
-The experience I had when TLNG was a baby and how if affected me, my mental health, my marriage, etc.
-The experience of those five weeks during which my mother died.
-The story of my long-term girl friendships.
-My experience working in a community in which I was a minority.
So, tell me. What are yours?