I have no idea what I mean by that blog title other than I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about certain parts of my childhood, which wasn’t a cake walk. Like many children, I am the product of divorce. I was only ten when my parents split and it was a difficult time for everyone, to say the least. I remember when I had my first child and thinking that I could either keep a foot in the past, or I could step forward and take responsibility for my own life and my own happiness.
I took door number two.
Well, I tried to constantly go through that door, but those old tapes would play occasionally inside my head, pushing me down the rabbit hole of the past.
I do believe we have to understand out past or we are destined to repeat it. I believe this on a global scale with history, but I also believe it on a personal level. Its why many of us seek out therapy and discuss the past and those life changing events that helped shaped the person we are today.
I’ve always been told I have a weird memory, and I honestly think I do, but, and this is kind of a big but, and that is these memories, which are my realities, affected me psychological and even subconsciously so profoundly that they can’t ever be erased or forgotten. I wrote a short essay about a 5 Mile Race I participated in at camp when I was 13. The details of this memory are so vivid its almost scary. I don’t remember a lot of other things from camp that summer, but this one has stuck with me forever and a day.
I don’t think I fully understood why until I wrote the essay. Some people missed the point and focused on someone else in the story, the person I disappointed, or thought I disappointed, but when I examined the memory more closely, and how it makes me feel, I can understand why this was a turning point in my young life. It wasn’t about feeling as though I disappointed someone who was like a big brother at the time. It wasn’t about wondering if the race was thrown so I could win because no way could I have actually won that race unless the opposition hadn’t forfeited. It wasn’t even about being the first at anything, something that was very important to me at camp.
The reason it sticks out so much in my mind was that there was this little voice in the back of my head that told me to quit. That I wasn’t good enough. Strong enough. Smart enough. I’ve spent a lifetime of fighting a battle with myself regarding self-confidence and failing. I’ve spent a life time trying not to self-sabotage the things I want to do in life.
During that race, I so wanted to quit. I was so far behind and I wasn’t going to win, and lets face it, coffee is for closers and I wasn’t closing that deal. I stopped doing a lot of things because I wasn’t as good as others when I was younger.
So, this race is important because its a constant reminder that I succeeded. I accomplished the task. I set a goal: swim five miles. The set up was a race, but the goal was the laps.
And I did them.
Subconsciously, I think I draw on that memory to help me when I want to quit. Give up. Toss in the towel, because publishing is a really fucking hard business and most people don’t achieve high levels of success. I don’t know the percentage of writers who make less than 10k per her, but its SHOCKINGLY high. However, many keep going. Pushing forward.
My business partner, Bob Mayer, always says that persistence trumps talent.
But don’t tell him I said that. LOL.
I love examining my memories and will be sharing them a lot here as time goes on. Tell me some of your memories!
In the meantime, there is a scene in The Lost Sister that is set in the camp I attended where said race occurred. Its a novella and an easy read!