For many years and many blogs posts I have mentioned that I wanted to write my parents’ story. But as yet I haven’t. I even dedicated a page on this blog to them. I thought that my lack of action on this project was due to my avoidance behaviour and procrastination habits.
I took action a few weeks ago.
I met with my friend and family history writer/author/mentor Melinda Tognini to talk about my desire to explore, research and write my family history. I asked Melinda for her mentor-ship on this project.
I had homework to do but I didn’t do it.
I spent some time reflecting on why, initially I thought I was being lazy again, but I realised that my lack of pro-activity in writing my parents story wasn’t about that at all. I came to the conclusion that it’s much deeper than that.
My Lack of Progress
I noticed that on a superficial level, in pondering and reflecting on aspects of their life they had shared with me over the years, I was fine, but in thinking deeply about it and then exploring and investigating I became emotional and sad. I would shut the door to wanting to know more, I would shut the door on asking and hearing more details from my parents. I found it too painful .Too painful to know what their life was like before me, before my sisters and brother, before they’d met, because I already had some knowledge of their adversities and challenges in their childhood and teen life. I feel like I’m in a quandary of emotions wanting and not wanting to know more.
In my mind’s eye I could see the places they spoke of, I could hear the conversations, I could smell the smells of their village, I felt their pain and hardship, and yet I had never been to any of the places they spoke of, nor had I met any of the people they mentioned. But not everything they speak of is painful and a life of challenge and sadness, there are plenty of moments of happiness and joyous times. But it’s the painful ones that I find difficult to process.
Melinda suggested to write aspects of their life that I am comfortable with first, then when I am ready I will to delve into those “other” areas. My parents don’t mind talking about any of it, but it stirs the emotional pot in me.
I didn’t realise that by starting this project it would bring up “stuff” for me that I am not comfortable with.
It’s been months since I wrote this post and I haven’t made any progress. I’m still mustering up the emotional and mental courage to find out more. I do want to get out of this emotional avoidance mud that I am in.
I am fully aware that I need to do this before it’s too late. I need to take little baby steps.
Writing my personal journey with this project was something Melinda recommended would be good start. Hence this post. Thank you Melinda 🙂
I would love to hear from you if you have written or currently writing your family history. And any tips you might have for me.