Thursday, January 5, 2017

Is this the story of You?

They say there is a novel in each of us. Let’s just start with the most obvious one, the story of you. 

This should be the easiest one to write, don’t you think? But for any of us who stay away from delving into our souls, touching those creepy places we’ve hidden away our deepest fears and secrets this could be the scariest story to write of all.

Who knows what might reveal itself, who knows what else has been buried so deeply that it can only be found with my keyboard as my shovel. To dig or not, that is the question.

Building a life had a start. But like most of us, I don’t have any memories before the age of five or so. I do remember a gang of dogs locked behind a gate barking loudly and  baring their teeth. I also know that I was only about five and maybe there was only two dogs, although they growled loudly, I was only little at five and I suspect everything seemed big. This is of course, set me on a path of being fearful of dogs, crossing the street and going out of my way back when dogs could roam free. It ended when my family added a dog to our home.

St. Thomas High
Funny how we continue to see our lives through the eyes of our youth. Even as an adult returning some thirty years later, with some friends spread throughout the country to our old high school, things seemed to have shrunk. 

 The high school which had been robed in fear of authority, following the rules and being an A student seemed small and squat compared to what I had planted in my mind. Of course in retrospect, that high school building was probably the biggest building I’d ever been in at the time except the local shopping mall which was a happy place for a suburban teenager.

Seeing that old school as a grown-up brought up a flood of memories. So solid, so dull, not quite as grand as I remembered. The "catwalk" not miles long as it seemed at the time. The classroom, in Mr. Alt's English class (did teacher's have first names back then?) where he prod me to keep writing. 

St. T. catwalk - not miles long
How I loved that school! The promise of cute boys, playing guitar in the Winter Carnival, leaving messages on lockers, hearing my shy voice boom in the public speaking club. I learned so many things during those years that were not related to Latin or Biology. I heard the power of words.

I learned about people, about why someone was popular and who was determined (and eventually worked for CBC as a correspondent), watching and listening and pouring my teenage angst, and pain into volumes of poetry, some published but most often stuff that was just nonsense but still wonderful to put on paper.

That's how it started. The words were just there. They started my story. These are the paragraphs I choose to remember.

How do our memories hold up our stories? (Click to Tweet)

Which parts of your life do you choose to write your story? (Click to Tweet)

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