What’s my story? Great question

Writing a personal blog is a little like having children — if you wait for the perfect time to get started, it may never happen. So I’m blogging every day this month as part of Think Kit 2016 to get me going (on writing, not parenthood; that ship has sailed).

Today’s prompt:

Pretend you’re writing your autobiography. Give us your first line, a first chapter, or even just an image. What’s the story of you?

I’ve considered myself a writer since I entered my first elementary school Young Authors contest, and I was lucky enough to spend a couple decades telling stories as a newspaper reporter. But when it comes to the story of me, I’m stumped. Sincerely.

I feel like Admiral Stockdale, Ross Perot’s running mate in the 1992 presidential election: “Who am I? Why am I here?” Is it an identity crisis? A complete lack of self-awareness? Heck if I know, but I probably should figure it out.

The basics

My Twitter bio is just two words: Recovering journalist. That’s what I did, sure, and it describes my professional status, but is it who I am? I’m also a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a friend (with varying degrees of success). Do those relationships define me?

It’s not like I haven’t had occasion to reflect on my life before now. On my 33rd birthday, I was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm that took two surgeries to fix. At 39, my first mammogram detected stage III breast cancer.

What I know

I’m a survivor. I’m a good friend. I work (too) hard. I nap too much. I love playing games. I hate housework. My cats are my kids. My husband drives me crazy, but I’d be lost without him. I listen to country music. I have watched every episode of Friends and Big Bang Theory at least 27 million times. I never exaggerate. I always wear my seat belt. I don’t do scary movies. I have an amazing family who I don’t see enough of. I know it’s OK to end a sentence with a preposition. I don’t wear makeup — never have, never will. My happy place is a deserted beach. I never say no to dessert (and it shows). I like cliches. I love losing myself in a great book. I hate sad endings. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Stream-of-consciousness much?

Alrighty, then. That seems like a good place to pause for now. If I’m this clueless about my story after almost 46 years, I’m not going to find my story in one night. But I’m looking forward to the journey


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