The Buried Life, Examined

I don’t know if it’s because of the introspection that turning a year older always induces in me, or because the ideas I’m working on for my memoir are causing my brain to divulge all of its secret treasures, but the past couple of weeks have been full of memories coming up that have me going “I completely forgot about that!”

I recently recalled my experiences with Tai Chi, a slight memory of golden apples on a ceiling that spawned a creative non-fiction piece “Creative Visualization.” Just today, I was twice reminded of other memories: one directly related to my memoir, and one of a grade school trip to the state capital. I’ve never had a problem remembering things, and I don’t know why it surprises me that the memories are still in there, somewhere, waiting to be knocked loose by an image or a thought so they can float to the surface. It’s just amazing how the cosmic shifts inside of me caused by my birthday have opened me up to such mundane memories. It’s equally amazing that these memories, upon reexamination, are so rich in meaning and appropriate for the projects I’m working on.

I’ve been sort of dreading this birthday more than most. I will be past the prime publication age I held so dear. I’ll never appear on a Top 40 aged 25 and under list of up and coming literary voices. The year that I was twenty-five will be recorded as one where there weren’t many triumphs. I don’t feel any closer to the goals I’ve had for myself or the things I’d always imagined I’d have by the time I’m 25-26: house, husband, heirs…, yet:

  • I’m writing at a higher level than before.
  • My blog(s) are developing a good following and inspiring discussion.
  • I’ve erased some of the old habits and debts that have kept me back.
  • I’m finally ready to seek publication again.
  • My writing voice is more fully developed than it was last year.

Since I’ve stop pushing back memories of my life, stopped thinking my life is uninteresting and uninspiring, I’ve come to see so many jewels of wisdom and insight. I’ve realized I have something to say, not just as a fiction writer, but as a non-fiction writer. I’m realizing I’ve accomplished a lot, much more than I give myself credit for, and I still have a lot of life left (hopefully) to accomplish over and exceeding everything I’ve ever imagined. I’ll get there in my own time, when the time is right. I just have to trust that I’m going to get there, and keep walking.


6 thoughts on “The Buried Life, Examined

  1. That’s really all it takes — keep walking. I’m in my seventh decade and just on the verge of publishing my first novel.

    • I was so tempted to quote the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step line…but then it just felt cheesy and cliche…even though it’s what I’ve been thinking. Good luck with your novel.

  2. It’s very easy to look back on years past and see everything that you missed or failed to do. The “shoulda” “coulda” “woulda” game is something my brain loves to play with my subconscious while I try to sleep.

    However, if you stop and really look back you start to see all the great things you’ve accomplished and from your list you certainly have accomplished great things – especially for a writer.

    Keep on writing and developing your voice!

    • Yes, when you really look back, you see all many of accomplishments and personal triumphs. The trick is to take the time to do so thoroughly. Often, when I think about a coulda woulda shoulda situation, I just feel the regret, guilt, frustration, or etc. and block it out instead of really examining it. Good point! I definitely plan to keep on writing.:-)

  3. I’m glad you were able to make a list of the things that are going well. It’s natural that we not accomplish everything we set out to – it gives us a reason to live another year or more!

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