exploring the mind: delving into one's past
writing to remember and to know
When we went through marriage counseling sessions the therapist/counselor was obsessed with what my childhood must have been like to make me what I am today, as-if I am your friendly neighborhood serial killer. As they say, that "bristled my feathers." Maybe they were correct in their assumption, maybe my childhood was some horrific spectacle of blood on the walls (it wasn't), but I absolutely refuse to agree with the premise that that is or was a contributing factor to wrecking our marriage. Even in those sessions, with or without her, somehow the union between two people "until death do us part" became one person's problem to figure out and fix: mine.
But the exercise is a worthwhile one, the idea of going back into one's mind, not to fester on things, but to view them from so many years later in an effort to learn how to be a better person today. The time that has passed offers a better perspective of things which is not possible to see any other way.
The marriage is over, so this exercise is not intended to necessarily do anything there, but this fact alone, that it is over, is honestly what affords me the physical time and the mental space to embark on such a journey. Writing was always looked down upon...not always, I shouldn't say that. Early on, in our first year, she was supportive of my desire "to be a writer." She even went so far as to buy me notebooks to jot ideas in while I was at work. Something happened though when year two kicked off that seemed to change her mind about the exercise and the dream. And so since that point, 2008, writing has been an uphill battle for me simply because I knew the support wasn't there, if it was it certainly didn’t feel that way. And so, if you consider yourself to be an “aspiring” writer (just sit down and write. There. You are a writer.), when you read books and articles and such on writing, becoming a writer, being a writer, and so on and so forth, and the author mentions having the support of your family, they mean it. Without the explicit support of that you will not feel or be free to practice the craft, in my experience, and that will have a massive impact on your ability to do the writing you want to do.
I digress, sheesh!
I'm doing this now because I can and because I am obsessive when it comes to being the best I can be (a trait I definitely picked up from my dad).
I want to take a very close look at several areas of my life, hopefully you get a few things from the exercise along the way. The idea is simple: sit down, let the cursor blink a few times, then just start writing. Starting with alcohol and my not so great relationship with the stuff. I'd like to start there because, well, that one is interesting to me on two different levels: personally, obviously, and then blown out from there at the very high level of "society". Other areas I'd like to look at are being a dad, husband, son, brother, nephew, cousin, son-in-law...the various hats. I would also like to step back into my twenties, try to remember those times, and then also my teenage years in middle and high school. So much of my life is hidden in a mist and I'm hopeful that the purposeful exercise of sitting down to write about things will help to clear some of that.
And so this post is just a marker. I'm not going to start now, these will likely be quite long and seem like the perfect way to spend an early Saturday morning. Today though I wanted to set the intent, see what it felt like writing about the idea of writing about these things (fancy), and provide a rough path forward.
Up to this point with this newsletter/substack/website I've been writing only for myself. That is not going to change moving forward, it has only been a week, but with these longer more "in-depth" posts I will hope to share that a bit wider than not sharing at all :-) No paywall, but do subscribe so you are able to read along.