I’m writing a memoir, and my parents literally have a white, picket fence. It stands outside my mother’s crab apple tree, and one time a douche-bag dear knocked one of its posts over, but it was ok because we had it repaired. I suppose I could even write about that, after all, aren’t I supposed to be writing about my life from a street-view, or from an areal perspective, or maybe even staring up from the bowels of Hell. I don’t know. I’m rambling. This is what writing only about yourself does to you- your brain picks itself inside out entirely, fishing for just the right details so you don’t look like a pretentious arse, but also so you don’t sound like a simpering bimbo.
I only include the bit about the picket fence to assure you that I don’t know suffering.
I don’t live in a war-stricken country, I don’t have abusive parents, I haven’t bounced through the foster care system, I haven’t been hit by a car, struck by a fist, or publically humiliated. I’ve lived a comfortable life. So comfortable, in fact, it leaves out all the elements that make dope memoirs, dope. I’m no Amy Poehler, Irene Vilar, or Tina Fey. I’m just Ellie.
I took this blog post I wrote a few months ago for a class, about why I was pursuing a career in music, and what exactly I wanted to come of it. I wrote that post in approximately seven minutes, and it was as sterile as a latex glove. It got me a A, probably because I listed off things I could do with my degree and vomited out words like ‘pedigogy’ and ‘resume.’ But it wasn’t interesting. It listed off what I wanted to do with my life.
My memoir is about what I’ve done, and less about where I’m going. I like fishing through old conversations for cool old dialogue I can use. I have words spoken to me when I was falling in love, crying about an audition, and sitting in my underpants eating chocolate Krave cereal. These conversations, although broken apart, disjunct, and probably butchered a fair bit, are what keeps me human, and I love them more than I could ever try to love a sterile, boring list.
Writing about yourself is uncomfortable. Because, for ever beautiful little moment that starred you and your own vivid cast of characters, there are a hundred more boring ones. There are days when I sat on my ass and played my horn for a little bit and went on the internet and went to sleep. There are more of these days than I can remember, and this becomes increasingly evident as I scan through old memories and realize there are entire months that are insignificant.
And then there are the worse moments- there are the ugly ones.
Jesus Chirst, I was an asshole about some things. I was really rotten to my mother, and I ran from my responsibilities and I shouted at my sister and I said that my French horn was the worst thing ever and I hated it with ever fiber of my being. The ugly moments suck the most because they remind me of precisely the person I don’t want to become. The ugly moments are the ones I don’t want to write about, but probably should anyways.