An Unexpected Message
Updated: Aug 30
Remember that "inner voice" I mentioned in my first blog post? The one that told me to just go for it and start my business during one of the craziest years in living (I presume) memory?
Well, that same "voice" unexpectedly told me to write about my family; spec
ifically my father. If you knew my father, you might raise a skeptical eyebrow. To be fair, there is no way you could know him because he died years ago, so... in a nutshell, he was a man in a constant war with himself. Though intellectually brilliant, alcohol became an escape from his unhappy perspective of reality. And that's putting it mildly. From my point of view, most of his life seemed a tragedy. Something to forget as quickly as possible. Why on earth would I want to remember - much less write about - such a sad, unhappy person?
Right on cue my inner voice provided the answer: "List and explore the lessons he taught you... of what NOT to do!" In other words, lessons learned by contrast. My response: Oh, good grief! Though sad at his funeral, I clearly remember my relief. Why? Because I was free! What could possibly motivate me to revisit such awful, often terrifying memories of him during my childhood and teen years?
Again, the answer was immediate: "Because you need to let it go. You're done... almost. And other people need to hear your story so they may make sense of their own."
I began to cry. I knew in my heart that that was the truth: to fully accept, learn from, resolve, and move on from my past tumultuous relationship with my father's
issues, I had to revisit my memories. Otherwise, those memories would eat me up from the inside out. I now know that's what happened to dad. (Notice the replacement of "father" with the softer, more affectionate "dad" title? I'm making progress!)
So... here goes! That revelation appeared several years ago. Since then, the act of revisiting such powerful memories proved an extremely emotional excursion. Frequently, I had to stop, cry, laugh, refocus, and - when ready - keep going. I kept writing. I kept remembering. I kept digging. Painful? Sometimes. Conclusion: still processing. Overall: relief. I watched the words flow with and without punctuation. Editing comes later. The book is currently in its third draft. Best of all, I'm now excited the share my story. Earlier this year, a second book walked into my mind! This time, about my mom.
"Seriously? Is this a part of the first book idea?" I asked.
"Nope," I heard. "This is separate. She deserves her own book."
"Okay," I responded, resigned. "I'm learning to trust you."
And so it goes. At present, dad's book has more steam to it... and it's still coming. Interestingly, additional characters continue to enter the picture, so to speak. I now know why: dad's story is actually Part 1 of two sections... possibly three. The second part consists of the lessons taught to me by male college classmates in the manufacturing department where I learned welding... again by contrast.
Anyone else sense a pattern here? Yep. Me too. I'm learning how to go with the creative flow. It's fun!