In my computer sits fifty neatly typed and formatted A4 pages of what was supposed to be my debut memoir manuscript that I’ve spent countless hours planning and penning. In writing each page I have been transported back to times and places in which I wish I still lived. I’ve also revisited places (and people) I wish I never saw to begin with.
The emotional labour of my recounting various stories has been taxing, but the lessons therein have been rewarding (to say the least). The rollercoaster of feelings has been the most difficult part of the journey. Despite my best efforts and creative output in terms of content production I’ve decided that for the most part this arduous manuscript and its breadth of contents that is this story, will now go unpublished…
The greatest lesson I have learned of recent times is that my life is not only still being written with each day that passes, but that I am the author. I am responsible for carving out my own destiny, page by page and chapter by chapter.
I, nor anyone else, can change the past, even in recreating it, but what I can (and will) do is change the future. There are many things in my life that have caused me both great joy and enormous sorrow. Neither can be changed, nor should they necessarily. But one of my greatest mistakes in life is not spending enough time in the present, enjoying each moment simply, for what it is.
Too many years of my life have been wasted feeling as though I am a victim of my circumstances, being ass dragged by my own life experiences and feeling as though the blame for my woes lay externally. But now thanks to this manuscript the realization is finally hitting home I am more than a character in my own novel… I am the author.
There is absolutely no denying things have been rough in my story and I’m not shying away from that fact. But, I will not let misgivings from previous chapters dictate the outcomes of future versions of myself. As far as I am concerned life from here on, my life is a choose-your-own-adventure book (sans imminent conclusion).
Therefore, while in part it may be true that I haven’t been dealt the easiest hand, I also need to take responsibility for the narrative that I am creating and the part I am playing in the future. Part of that involves living in the present and pathing a new and brighter way.
When writing my initial draft of what I thought would be my debut memoir The Insanely Long Way Out to Bayswater I relived so much of the past – there were poignant moments, and some ever so melancholy as I came to terms with certain realities and a far greater sense of self- awareness.
I had some knowing smiles and good chuckles too but recently something has tugged at my heartstrings. I’ve felt a little whisper inside which indicates that my actual story is far from over. In fact, it may be just beginning….
I don’t for a single minute regret writing what I have. I’m not hiding the fact that I have poised years of my life into a concise word document either, because the truth is of course, the arduous process has taught me many things. But, perhaps the most pertinent is that while we are living in the past, we will never be completely free of its torments.
But rather we will continue to battle the same issues we always have and be stuck on a virtual rotisserie marinating in our “same old, same old” dilemmas of days gone by. How can we carve out a brighter future when are caught up in reliving previous perceived traumas? The answer for me is, I cannot.
I have a significant history of depression and mental health challenges I need to be careful how I expend my energy. How much thought I give to events that can’t be changed or altered can have direct ramifications on my wellbeing. What’s done is done- there’s no room for should haves, could haves or would haves…
The past is just that and it’s time to start looking and moving forward. It’s up to me to create and dictate a new road- a way out, a far happier one with more inner contentment. I don’t need it to be perfect. I just want it to be better- but for that I will need both feet firmly cemented in the present with a view to creating that brighter path forward.
I have been “victimized” (as well as rescued) by other people and decisions enough for one lifetime. It’s time to take ownership and be my own heroine. My life need not be a sinking ship that amounted to little more than a good yarn. This is my only fleeting chance to dance between birth and death. It ought to be a good one.
I’m ready to take back control of my destiny, as opposed to go out swinging in a blaze of self-destructive glory. The responsibility lies with me, to author the rest of this tale. I plan to make the adventure great, not to close the cover. I cannot publish this story in entirety when it’s one that’s so very far from over. And, I am still hopeful… that the best is yet to come.
I had to come to the keyboard and start the process of writing and reliving to discover all this, of course. But now it’s time to step away from it. It’s the right thing to do. I need to go out and bring the best bits of my story to life. The bits where it’s not all about life happening to me and instead, the parts where I create my own path and become my own master.
I’ve been called to live beyond my current blurb and cover. I daresay the journey won’t end in Bayswater, either. I’m going to spare myself once again reliving the unnecessary drama and conflict of the past because I’ve come to realise that the greatest gift I have got is simply, today.
The day has come to shine and create the greatest parts of my yarn, yet! It’s time for my real- life living spree to commence… It’s time to start writing (and dictating) my own magic and future ….