I’d lived a whole life by age 21…or so I’d thought!
January 22, 2012 by almostakiss
Back when I was 21, I fancied myself a writer. I enjoyed writing for the sake of writing. I had a penpal who I’d known since I was 18 and felt especially close to because we both shared a love of groupie-ing. (That’s a whole other blog post.) I suggested we both write our life story and share with the other. Yeah, at 21 I thought I had lived already. So we swapped memoirs and got to know each other even better. Consequently, as time passed and I moved to another state and our basement flooded, I lost track of where my one and only hard copy was. This was before computers, people. The only people who I had let read mine were this penpal, my husband (before we got married) and a psychologist I went to a handful of times. (That’s an entire blog post there as well.) I wasn’t agonizing over the fact that I couldn’t locate it. There’s a chance it’s here somewhere. But I did ask this penpal, who I’m still in touch with via Twitter, if she still had the copy I sent her. Thankfully, she still did and offered to send me a copy just before Christmas. We were out of state for the holiday so I didn’t get a chance to peruse it until Jan. Even then, I could only stomach a bit of it at a time.
Here are some of the revelations I got after I read it:
1) Boy, I was really a good writer. I wish I could write half as good now.
2) I really swore a lot in my writing. I don’t remember starting to swear IRL until I was 25 and started working nights at the Post Office. It was a factory type setting where everyone swore like longshoremen. In this memoir, I was throwing around every cuss word I could think of, just for emphasis.
3) I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic but OMG, I almost can’t stand how melodramatic I was. It makes me realize that I’ve actually toned it down quite a bit.
4) It wasn’t a full life story. I dwelled on a lot of incidents and events but clearly not everyone or everything. A lot of what I mentioned then is unimportant to me now. Some of what I left out was really noticeable to me as well.
5) I don’t remember some things or I remember them differently. Other things are still the same in my memory bank. Weird.
6) A lot of what I told seemed intensely personal at the time but now I would probably air most of it on my blog, a chapter at a time. Mine didn’t consist of chapters. It was one 50 page run on sentence. With punctuation. 🙂
7) I still feel stupid for being so gullible and letting a “friend” take advantage of my trusting nature. I’m no longer as angry about it but I haven’t forgiven her either. I no longer feel a need to protect her and now want the world to know what kind of person she is. The damage from this incident is why I can’t really have friends or don’t have friends. A future blog post will recount word for word how she “played” me.
8) I need to write about the years since I was 21. Those are just as important, if not more. I need to write about all the ups & downs of my adulthood before I forget them. Obviously, some will never be forgotten but plenty will if not documented.
9) I’ve always been a sensitive person but I noticed how much more deeply I felt things. Everything was a huge insult, a criticism, a snub, etc. I was hyper-sensitive and took everything to heart. I’ve outgrown this to a degree just from no longer tolerating being a doormat or taking crap from anyone.
10) I can’t believe how much I used to lie! Not in the memoir, I told the truth about everything in there. I even mentioned how I lied to people and what lies I told. These weren’t things I ever said to impress anyone, it was what I considered self preservation. People would ask me things and I would feel bad so I’d lie. Like if I didn’t have a job, I felt terrible. I wanted to work but didn’t have enough experience so couldn’t get hired. If someone asked me, I would say I worked part -time at such and such. I felt like letting on that I didn’t have a job was admitting I was a failure. I felt like a failure. Another part of my life story was my disappointing 18th birthday which made me feel like my life was ruined. When some of my “friends” asked what I’d done, I lied and said I’d gone out with a friend, instead of what really happened–staying home. When I look at it written in black & white, it looks awful to lie like that. I never lied to make anyone else look bad or feel bad. I hope this is something I’ve outgrown.
11) Possibly the best thing I learned from reading my life story which was titled, “The Heartbreaking Saga of The Life & Times of Chrisor Bowana” was that I need to own my story. I need to bring it out into the light and not keep any of it in darkness any longer. Sometimes I think I know myself very well, too well. Other times I wonder if I’ve even looked deep enough into my being to know for sure.
Stay tuned for excerpts from the first 21 yrs of my life! They will confound you but also make you know a life was lived…