Life is filled with highs and lows. Heartbreak, grief, joy, and realization colors everything I experience. Some days it feels as though I’m far from my definition of normal. Each moment of my life is chiseled in the book of memories that makes up my life. The sharp edges soften with the passage of time, but the emotional resonance colors my view of the world far into the future.
I’d experienced profound loss that comes with the passing of family, I thought it would prepare me when my dog passed last year. The grief pounded me into the ground and shattered the sense of normal I had managed to cobble together after the death of my father. I worked hard to reassemble those pieces each time, but the shape of each event is stitched in scar tissue on my heart.
Writing has become my normal, my home. I create stories and characters that plumb the depths of my own experiences. The emotions that lifted me up or crushed me lend an authenticity. Each time I open the box that stores these experiences, I step onto a holo-deck of my own creation. I see the events and relive the moments that made me feel. I’m safe and I can pick and chose the moments that will be woven into the tapestry of my stories.
When I step out of that memory chamber, I’m alert and awake.
Having emotional clarity is painful and freeing. I use the emotional memories to make my characters stronger and more relatable. I’m grateful for every moment of my life.