Friday, January 26, 2007

The Beginning Of An Epic Tale?

So much for the promise I made to myself to blog more often. Work has become an all-consuming task once again. I know that it's never good to let work get to you that way, but it still sneaks in anyway. I feel intense pressure from the Chuckles to work my tail off, and he still makes me want to reach out and slap him sometimes with his despicable disposition. I honestly have never been in such a demeaning position. It's perfectly miserable and I long for the day when this project is over and he has moved on to another state and another project. I'll have the balance restored once again to my life and my lovely beach town.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

I bought a book a few weeks back. Nestled in my arms, in between Accounting for Dummies and Rich Dad's Guide To Investing, was a book I knew I probably wouldn't get around to right away. You might call it an impulse purchase, but I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted it.

I have always like to write, but seem to suffer from this terrible sense of "writer's block". Only, it's not really writer's block, it's just that every idea I have for something good to write about disappears when I sit down in front of the computer screen. Well, no more. As soon as I saw this book, I said to myself, "Wow. A book that will tell me step-by-step how to write about a subject I know very well."

The title of the book? Writing My Life: The Step-by-Step Autobiography. Because if there's one thing I know about more than anybody else in this world, it's me. And isn't that what a blog is sort of supposed to be based on? Well, maybe not everybody's blog, but certainly a bunch of them are.

Anyway, that was the reason I started my blog to begin with, even though I didn't fully know it then. I wanted an outlet to jot down my feelings, ideas, memories, aspirations, motivations, and heartaches. The only problem with that was that my own feelings got in my way. I would have a thought, and immediately a story stretched out from it and I would long to jot it down, but by the time I got to the computer the witty lines had fled, details seemed unimportant, and suddenly the whole story seemed pointless, trite, simplistic, stupid even. Of course, this is just the Inner Critic Monster that loves to eat good ideas for breakfast. These feelings were compacted and multiplied when I also realized that other people read this blog. Suddenly, the Inner Critic Monster has joined forces with the Stage Fright Monster. What a formidable enemy!

When I purchased this book I knew it would be good for, if nothing else, sparking old memories. And, I figure there's at least one or two stories from my past that I'd like to remember. So, I'm hoping to squash those monsters standing in my way. I'm tired of caring what everybody thinks, especially my own inner critic. I am who I am, and I want to put it all down "on paper" before I'm too old to remember things... like that one time a childhood friend of mine and I rode our bikes to the grocery store... at three o'clock in the morning. Or, the day in high school I tried out for the majorette squad. Or, the time when I was two and fell down the basement steps.

They say that a good place to begin is the beginning, so I guess that's where I'll start and we'll see where that takes us.

I only know this from what my mom and dad tell me, but I have it on their good authority that I was born on a Tuesday. September 25th, 1979 at 12:23 PM, to be exact. I was born in Houston, Tx. I always thought that was really cool, that I'm a Texas girl by birth.

Sad, then, that I didn't get to grow up there. When I was just three months old, my mom decided to leave my dad and go back home to her parents in Birmingham, Alabama. I kind of never really liked that.

My mom and dad had been married for nine years before they had me. I believe that my dad was in Vietnam for most of the beginning of their marriage, but the implications of the fact that they divorced soon after having me isn't lost on me. Add in the fact that my dad said my mom never really wanted kids, a fact later confirmed by my mom, and you've got a stereotype in the making.

I'm pretty sure that my mom left my dad because he was on drugs at the time. It was the late seventies, he was a Vietnam vet with his own set of problems, all in all it just wasn't a good marriage anymore.

I didn't even know I HAD a dad until I was four. In fact that is one of my earliest childhood memories. I remember my mom dressing me up in my nicest dress and telling me that I was going to get to meet my daddy. I remember my Nana (my mom's mom) didn't like it too much, she was visably upset that he'd be coming to their house. As it turns out, the reason I'd never met him before is because he'd been in jail for distribution of drugs. At the time, in the early eighties, when he and his brother got busted, it was one of the largest busts in the area he was in. I am happy to say up front at this point that my dad is a very different man now. Although I don't agree with everything he's about, he's always been a wonderful daddy. He told me once when I was twelve that when I was born, he began to see his whole life going in a different direction.

So, there we all were. Me, my mom, my Nana, and my granddaddy on one side, my dad, and his dad, my Paw Paw on the other. I was just a child, but that is one of the most clear memories I have. I was so unbelievably happy that I had a dad like all the other kids I knew. I just remember staring at him, searching his face, realizing that we had the same nose, the same ears, the same color eyes, the same curly hair. He spoke gently to me and told me all about himself, he told me that he drove trucks for a living and got to drive all the way up to New York every week. He told me stories about how big the buildings were up there. He told me that he was so happy to be spending time with me and that he couldn't wait to see me more.

I only got to see my dad at Christmas time after that, though. My Nana didn't really let him keep his promise to me. She didn't like him coming to the house, so my mom would take me to my Granny and Paw Paw's house on Christmas Day. The Christmas after I turned six, he wasn't able to come. He was on the road somewhere, driving a big rig. I didn't mind too much, though. It's become one of my favorite memories, me and my Paw Paw sitting together in his workshop behind the house, talking to my daddy for the first time on a CB radio. We had snow flurries that day, too, probably the closest I'll ever come to having a white Christmas.

I don't really have a good way to end this story except to say that a lot of my fond childhood memories revolve around my dad. He turned out to be a pretty good guy. I often feel like if he'd been able to spend more time with me growing up that I might not have been such a rebellious teenager, but who knows. I'm just glad he was there.


Katrina said...

Great post! I loved hearing about your early years, and the book you got sounds wonderful! I'm looking forward to more Jules. :D

"I'm tired of caring what everybody thinks, especially my own inner critic."


Amy said...

Great post!! What I learned doing the NaNoWriMo thing is that you have to just write, do not allow yourself to edit, just write and write and write and wonderful things will come out - like this story. I love it!