Writing A Memoir Sux
To All Inflicted with OCS:
I often wonder if there is anything I have ever cared about, as much as I have cared about this project. My entire life has been centered around storytelling, and I’ve yearned for the opportunity to tell my tales. I have an odd need for understanding, I NEED people to understand why I act in certain ways. I explain these actions through a series of behavioral psych evaluations, which is normal right? I’ve been insanely introspective my whole life, and I want to know the why of everything.
I blame my self awareness on my OCS, so much alone time for reflection.
Most people are pretty receptive to my explanations, I can be very convincing. I am a known oversharer. I own my truths, as long as I don’t have a crush on you. If I’m mad crushin then I get embarrassed about the overshares. I analyze every word and body movement in our conversations, to figure out if I was too much. I no longer have the attitude of “if they don’t like all of me, then fuck them!”
Every thought I’ve had the past 8 months has centered around this fucking book. I’ve been writing OCS for 2 years and 7 months. Mind you I took month long hiatuses where I didn’t touch it, thank you procrastination. I love this book, I love this brand, I love this project.
I guess that means I love myself.
I have to keep telling myself this, or I will lose my fucking mind. I’m not extremely well off, and I’m putting every extra dollar I can into OCS. There are so many things you don’t think you need, that you actually do. So many things I am still working to add, trademark, shoot, design for merch, it’s never ending. Big picture stuff gets to me, I am an impatient mofo. I can think big picture, but I need positive reinforcement along the way.
I’m not in this to become rich, I’m in this because I need to release my stories. People need to know that life is fucked, but it’s also beautiful and ironic, and a number of other things. That sometimes the kids who grow up alone or lonely have the most to say, and often they aren’t heard. That only children are so frequently misrepresented, and that they are complex. Some think they know who we are, but like any other stereotyped group they don’t.
That you and I are the same in so many ways, no matter where you grew up, or how different we look from one another.
Relatability is what keeps the human race from falling apart. It’s the only way we are able to keep peace within a society. Compassion for others often comes from a feeling of relation. It’s the way humor works, and comedians have jobs. It’s the way I decide who I will be friends with, or who I want to date. It’s also the heart and soul of this book.
At an early age I dove into psychology readings that involved abuse, addiction, self harm, and mental illness. I was looking for answers, something that may make me feel less alone. I was looking for anything to help, help me when no one else seemed to want to.
My life is full of truths that people like to keep hush hush. Truths that aren’t appropriate for a brunch, a wine night, or a text message. Although I would like to think I am an open book (ha), there are many things I have hid from everyone I know. Things I am finding out I don’t want to speak into existence, because that would make them real. Those things made me strong, they made me the person you may know today.
I’m not here to look cool or put on a facade, I’m here to be vulnerable and real.
Vulnerability is something I’ve always struggled with, and has hindered me from sharing some parts of my life in the past. It makes me feel weak, which is a feeling that takes me back to being a child. You don’t have much say over most of your life, until you are free of the homestead.
I don’t like feeling out of control, and I never have. I think a lot of my teenage and early adult years were about taking back some of that control. Most of the mediums I used to do this involved rebellion. Anything to hide the vulnerability would do. Regardless if that meant hurting my future, or myself in the process.
Now that I have the control, I don’t ever wish to lose it again.
This project makes me feel out of control. I can create all the lists in the world, but I don’t have the ability to check everything off. There are some skills I don’t have, and programs I don’t possess to learn them. My dad always had a “if you don’t know how to pay someone else to,” kind of attitude.
I would love to do that, but the reality is “someone else” doesn’t always give a shit. You think someone else cares, but people are selfish and lazy. Someone else may not have the work ethic you do, or be as smart as you.
For this reason I am learning a lot of skills myself, which down the road will be awesome. Right now it feels like I’m on the verge of a mental breakdown, and I’m exhausted. I want to slow down, but I can’t because so much time has been wasted. After having a near death experience in 2013 (story told in What Can I Get You?), time feels too precious.
I don’t want to do this anymore, I don’t even care about this project anymore. That sentence comes into my head at least once a day.
My writing is astronomically better than it was 5 months ago. Even the first couple chapters I released, I find pieces I now want to edit. I’m a quick learner, and take constructive criticism surprisingly well (misconception about Onlies). I listen to mentor’s critiques, and the stories I have workshopped are shaping up so well. I’ve spent 20-30 hours a week on OCS since March, on top of working 40-50 hours at my 9-5 marketing gig. Whether it’s writing classes, workshops, my writing space (Writers Blok), photoshoots, interviews, recording, meetings, website stuff. It’s all I care about.
Writing hurts more now, it’s painful. What I mean by that is, editors are pushing me to get into the nitty gritty of what some of my experiences actually were. I don’t know if I want to admit to myself what they were. The realization that parts of my childhood I viewed in a certain way, with perspective are completely different now. It feels like my life is changing before my eyes. Like my memories are wrong, like I’m not who I think I am. Like I don’t know myself at all anymore.
Like maybe I’m not as introspective and self aware as I thought.
Demons run through my head like maybe my writing is all garbage, and I should throw it all away. Along with all the money I already wasted, flush everything down the drain. I’ve lost control of what I’m doing, it’s gone. I’m clawing my way towards the finish line, and people are trampling over me on their merry way not giving AF. Feels like no one wants me to finish the race, but fuckin A I can’t be stopped.
I recently texted a friend, “nothing can stop the SYNDROME!” Maybe I was right, because it’s showing its way into my life at this very moment. I’m freaking the fuck out that something didn’t go my way. I’m so used to an adult life without conflict, as long as I keep to myself and do what I have to do.
I trust myself, and know that ADD can’t stop me when I put my mind to something. I like to be the best at everything I produce, and never wanted to share this with all of you until it was perfect. I am realizing it will never be perfect, because very much like my life, it’s difficult and messy.
At first glance this brand appears to be exclusionary. Like you have to be an Only to adhere to what I’m selling (not in a literal sense). It’s a pastel 90’s playground of nostalgia for millenials, and the adults who raised them. It’s a way for other generations to learn about the trendy time, that has now come back in full force. It’s fun to reminisce on times past, and dive into how it may affect the present. I urge you to reflect on how your own tales have shaped you into the being that is reading this.
On one hand, I want you to think I’m special and different, but on the other hand I hope you relate. I might be asking for too much, but I feel entitled to do so. Why is that? Oh yea, because I have OCS.
Here’s to hoping the adults in my life when I was a child, understand that I must write them this way. I cannot change my memories any longer to make sure others feel comfortable with how they are portrayed. As human beings we are all constantly evolving, and the same goes for the characters in my book. They are multidimensional and complicated, and even I don’t know why their actions at times were hurtful.
Writer after writer has told me to lay down words as if all the people in my stories were dead. Well, that is easier for memoirists who may be in their 40s-60s. Maybe that’s why I hear “you’re too young to have a memoir,” weekly. Listen people, I can’t wait for everyone I know to perish. That’s not realistic, but my fingers are crossed that no one is deeply offended by my truths.
In 2019 I feel like I’ve aged 10 years, and we are only in August. I’m still in my 20’s, but yet I feel old and wise. I’ve torn myself open in order to look at the dark parts of me, and re evaluate how to shine a light into them. I haven’t always been a good person, in fact for years of my life I’m not sure I was.
It’s taken me a long time, and much therapy to get to a place where I can admit all the horrid things about myself. No, I’m not talking about the fifteen extra pounds I consistently carry, the one black chin hair that keeps coming back, or that I lowkey kinda like picking my nose (double nose ring side only). I’m talking about the fact that I haven’t cried in front of anyone since I was a teen, that I don’t tell people if they hurt me or make me sad, that I manipulate others for my own gain, that I don’t really know how to properly show my love for anyone. Just a few light points…
The skeletons are coming out of the closet, and I feel an overshare coming on. Before I do so and scare all of you lovely people away, go on and judge me based off my writing por favor. I have control over that, so if I fuck it up I’m the only one to blame. Honestly, I will probably just blame my parents though, since this is based on my childhood.
The syndrome strikes again!
With much love and angst,