It’s a song that stays on repeat in my head, a gentle haunting that keeps reminding me where I come from—
When I was 18, I brazenly thought that I was ready to leave, but the truth is I keep trying to get back there.
My feet wandered far.
But I never really left home,
Because it lives and breathes under my skin.
It’s the story that’s begging to be told
For better or worse.
The road home is intangible. It’s not clearly charted and it’s immeasurable. Yet, no matter how far I go, it’s home that calls me back over and over. It’s what made me in all its fits of laughter and tears and in all its spitfire and scars. We are so much more than skin deep, thus memoirs are crafted differently for different people. I have read enough to conclude there is no right way or wrong way. It’s your own story and often takes years to be content with something so intricate, layered, and personal. It breaks you open.
One thing I know, even if I am unsure of how—
Life is never neat and tidy or sparkly. If you have a story, find a way to tell it, because trying to suffocate it, only threatens to kill part of you. Before you lay it to rest, put it down in words.
If you lived with me long enough you’d know that oftentimes my mind wanders away to memory, and in that moment I am trying to figure out how to make that memory come alive in a way that is truly me in every way. This is not easy, and often what takes the most time in writing. The words have to be authentic and mine—how I FELT in the moment the event occurred. Poetry has been my means to an end, because sometimes the narrative is fragments of memory and I string them together line by line like a poem. Sometimes bulkier narrative comes from these frays and strands that I can weave together, still other times I present it as just pieces or a series of metaphors.
Anne Lamont says:
“Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write towards vulnerability, Risk being unliked.”
I will write to keep “home” alive, to be loyal to the family that runs through my veins and the one that has picked me up along the way and made me hopelessly indebted to them. I owe you their stories too, the ones that left their marks all over me.
For a long time I waltzed around the mystery of what to do with home— but I believe I know now that WHO I AM has to make peace with the girl I WAS. Maybe the only way back there is to write my way back.
And maybe the only way to find home again is to write
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