Hello dear reader,
I have a question for you. Do you remember your child self? What you loved to do as a little boy or little girl? What you thought about? Recurring dreams you had? What games you played? Your favorite places, and smells, and sound? What it felt like to ride in the back seat?
I loved to play outside and be active outdoors. Ride my bike, roller blade, swing, monkey bar, patch trees with melted tar from the pavement, jump rope. You know, outdoor things.
I loved to read. I asked for a bookshelf for my like 8 or 9th birthday.
And I loved to write. I asked for a desk from my dad when the Patriots won the 2002 Superbowl. I remember hoping they would win and calling him 20 minutes later because I knew he would be in an ecstatic mood and pretty much say yes to anything (LOL- smart kid). I could have asked for anything, and I asked for a desk. What 11-almost-12-year-old child asks for a desk? The kind that loves to write.
Remembering your childhood is a topic that has come up on multiple podcasts I listen to. And in every good memoir and biography, the writers are able to recount in great detail their childhood. Remembering what made you happy before the world inevitably jades you can be a helpful key to unlocking what can make you happy now.
Remembering my childhood was not an easy task for me. I had to think and think and think about it. I actually called my little sister a few months ago, asking her if she remembered what I liked to do. Lol. But really, not so funny. I am completely open about the fact that I had a lot of adolescent trauma. Those were a few very dark and unpleasant years. Not that it was all bad, but there was sure as hell a lot of bad. And I think I just didn’t want to think about the past at all, moving forward ya know? But in doing so, that leaves out a lot of wonderful memories too.
I remembered loving being active outdoors first. This is probably because I spend a lot of time running outside now, and I have already had the realization that expending energy outdoors has always been a source of pure joy for me. I really feel like I can absorb the energy of the earth and turn it into energy of my own. One of my dad’s nicknames for me was the Energizer Bunny, because I could keep going and going and going.
Then I remembered that I loved to read. When this dawned on me, I made the decision that I should read more. Since this realization, my rate of reading has increased exponentially. It is one of the reasons I decided to become a TLC Book Tour host, as it is a great way to stay accountable to reading.
Only a few weeks ago did I remember how I have always loved to write. You may be thinking, “Uh… Duh Becca… You’re a blogger. That is essentially at the core, writing.” But as silly as it sounds, I had forgotten. But slowly, slowly, it has come back to me. I remembered writing and illustrating a book over the summer between third and fourth grade as an “extra credit” option (extra credit being brownies. Thank you Mrs. Wegging). I remembered getting a 5 in the “voice” category of the CIM testing in 5th grade on my essay about my glamour grandma who doesn’t sit on a rocking chair and bake cookies. I remembered the desk. I had this writing realization, and then I began to look around the my-room/guest room. I compiled all of the notebooks, just in that one room, and stacked them on the ottoman.
Writing for me is almost compulsory. I need it. To the point where it didn’t even occur to me that some people don’t feel this way about writing. In fact, some people loathe it. But not me. I love notebooks and pens and typing and seeing words form into sentences and paragraphs and pages. I love run on sentences.
I’m grateful I have finally remembered that I am a writer. So I am thinking I should probably read more about it by some of the great writers who have written about writing. I’m listening to Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and absorbing it to the degree that it is pretty much consuming every waking thought. It is helping me recall the most random memories in exquisite detail. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in writing.
My father in law is also a writer. He has written a novel and multiple short stories and gotten published. He even took my husband on a trip to Nebraska way back when for no other reason than to conduct research for a story he was working on. That is commitment to the craft. And extremely admirable. I had this grandiose idea of a Hanukkah gift for him. A copy of Bird by Bird, a moleskin journal, and a nice pen. With a card that read, “I think you should write your memoir in this notebook. I would like very much to read it.”
We all met up for drinks and dinner last night before a show and he told me that he met Anne Lamott at one of the many writing workshops he has attended and that she has read some of his work. I guffawed, but also had an inexplicable inclination that this was the case, as she does writing workshops in the Bay area. Small world. Anyways, I was happy to hear that he finished his latest short story and is going to get to work on his memoir. I’ll have to figure out something else to get him for Hanukkah, but I suppose that is okay by me.
Imagine that this sentence is an epic conclusion paragraph that ties in the entire blog post and blows your mind to smithereens.