Thank goodness for mothers. I was feeling very uninspired in my writings a couple days ago, and somehow telepathically (without even talking to her) I feel like my mom knew that.
Writing and reflecting on what I thought about during my childhood and upbringing is much harder than actually looking at what I wrote back then. And what my mom sent me was a picture of a poem I wrote in 6th grade (Mrs. Case’s honors English class).
“Found some great things cleaning out my office”
Entitled “I am a crazy guy who loves vacations”, this might not be meaningful for anyone in the world except myself. It’s meaningful for me to see how I was thinking and writing back in 6th grade, and I feel like some of those aspirations are still with me today.
My mom (by sending me this) helped me realize that sometimes, the most important audience you can have, is yourself. I’ve been through so many courses and lessons that have taught me how to target an audience, how to write with purpose, and I feel I’ve gotten better and better at that. But ultimately, writing is a very introspective and self-absorbed process. I think you can learn a lot about yourself from writing — but only if it comes from the heart. I think that every word in that poem I wrote in 6th grade was true about myself (not what I wanted other people to hear about myself, but rather what I actually thought and felt). I think the only way to truly learn from my writing is to be truthful in that writing.
I hope that 10 years from now I can look back at this project and learn something about the way I thought/felt back in college, and how that may or may not have changed.
As I come to crunch time on my family history project, taking the lessons of “a crazy guy who loves vacations” can help me see that “huge mountain blocking my path” and barrel right through.