During an online class this week, the teacher split us into small groups to discuss a goal we have. I nonchalantly mentioned that I’ve been recently widowed and have 6 kids. It was important backup information for the goal I had chosen. Several of my classmates audibly gasped when I said that. I was taken aback by their shock. It is just a fact sometimes. Sometimes I can just spout it off as if I was saying it’s sunny outside.
But sometimes it’s not just a fact. When I tell myself all that I am dealing with, I am taken aback too. If it were someone else in my situation, I would audibly gasp too. Because it’s me, it just seems…normal. I wish I could tell people such basic information about myself without alarming them. It would be nice to feel more normal sometimes.
Because it alarms people, I avoid giving most people too much information about myself. That is part of why I write. I need to tell my story. I want to tell my story. I tell my story because it’s mine. I’m the only one who can tell it with my perspective. I’m the most qualified to tell it. To quote Greg, “I would submit to you that, out of the billions of people who ever walked the earth, no two people have exactly the same life experiences. Even two people who are best friends, who have done everything together, do not have the exact same story. Each person comes into life with their own personality, strengths, weaknesses, and ability to see and interpret life’s experiences in their own unique way…If I do not write my story, it dies with me when I pass away. If my story dies, all the lessons that I have learned along the way will be lost. What a shame that would be!” (Taken from Greg’s autobiography)
Greg and I spent 19 years of our lives together. That is almost half of both of our lives. I would say we were best friends. We were more than best friends. And even so, our stories are very different. We have been through so many of the same things, but we would retell the events very differently. I realize that my perspective is mine, and that sometimes the things I think and feel about Greg may not seem true for him. But they are true for me, and this is my story.
I write for myself, even though I often share it with others. I write to help myself better understand my story. I write because the pain and heartache and joy and happiness need to be told. It is important because it is mine. If I don’t, it will be lost, just like Greg mentioned.