WARNING: No matter who you are, or what your intentions were when you sat down to write, you will not be the same at the end of your memoir. You will be changed by the writing of your own story. And your story, in turn, will be changed as well.
Writing so deeply and personally about who you have been and what has happened to you changes your perspective on so many things. Perhaps the most impactful of these changes is how you view yourself after the awkward and enlightening experience of crafting the character of yourself in an honest way. This forces us to be (hopefully) more honest than we’re used to being with ourselves.
That’s how many jobs I racked up in my journey to full-time freelancing. At least, that’s how many I can remember at the moment. From the age of 16 to 28, I was nearly constantly in a cycle of becoming dissatisfied with a job, looking for a new one, interviewing, getting hired, loving the new job, doing the best I could there, realizing it wasn’t quite right, becoming dissatisfied with it, etc., etc.
The hardest time to make a change is when you’re pretty happy. I mean, why change if everything is good? The answer to this, of course, can range anywhere from the fact that things can get better to the fact that happiness is not the solution to all of life’s problems. For my part, it’s a little bit of both of those things.
Surely I’m not the only one contemplating the fall of Rome today. But in an effort to avoid the hyperbolic fray of the government shutdown, I purposefully shifted my thinking from large-scale crises to small. Though I doubt the Washington drama will result in the end of civilization as we know it (fingers crossed! Survivorship skills aren’t top on on my household’s list of talents.), the end of a personal era is definitely upon me. And it’s making me a little itchy.