I know I know. You’ve been wondering where I’ve Disappeared to.
Yes I know. It’s time to be ‘hospitable’ again to you, hospitable to my writing. It’s time to come to the keyboard or notepad with the clear intent and purpose to write.
Diligently. Determinedly. Definitively. Daily.
And now that I have a ‘Direction’ (sort of ), there’s really no excuse. In fact, I reckon that I actually have enough materials in my life now to write more than one good memoir.
Memoir you ask? Yes, it’s been a growing conviction for me the past four months, since I started reading first Simply Tuesday, then The Memoir Project. The latter in particular introduced me to Marion Roach Smith, who’s now both my memoir guru and writing coach. And from her I realise what’s been missing, what’s that thing that I’ve been dreaming of writing. It’s called a memoir.
Right now, I’m thinking that my first memoir shall be about the universal challenge of searching and finding acceptance, identity and recognition in family and society, as illustrated by these past couple of years that I’ve been a stay-home dad. It will hopefully be written first as an op-ed to be published somewhere (I’m not sure where yet), then re-purposed into a book-length memoir I can self-publish, or by a publishing house willing to take a chance on a rookie writer like yours truly.
This undertaking is certainly going to consume my every waking (and sleeping) moment for the next few years! This project is going to be bigger than completing nearly 20 years of pre/primary/secondary/tertiary education, 19 years of marriage (to date), eight years of corporate work, 15 years of teaching, and ten years (and counting) of child-raising.
This will be bigger than two years doing voluntary work in a foreign land just after finally getting my driving licence at the ripe old age of 33; mastering cycling at the geriatric age of 34, returning from the voluntary work at 35 to reintegrate into a faster-paced Singapore, and slogging day and night for two years to obtain my Masters at 44, an age where most of my peers were already completely settled into their careers and family, and even preparing financially for retirement.
It’s probably even bigger than leaving a cushy teaching job at 48 to take a stab at a digital consultancy job in the private SME sector (which sadly lasted just over a year; a raw wound still, that will most certainly find its way into my memoir).
Hmmm…actually, looking back now at what I just listed, I do seem to have a knack for taking on challenges that many half my age would probably have already overcome. Looks like I’m a serial late-bloomer!
This memoir project is going to take me on a long and painful journey of self-discovery. I’m probably going to unearth a lot about myself that I otherwise might not have noticed. I will probably have to come to terms with a lot of realities about myself that I probably won’t like, that a lot of people who know me and who I know won’t like, and in general make me a less-than-likeable person.
But as my writing coach has taught me, writing can be the very balm I need to soothe the painful wounds my many life experiences have inflicted on me. Conversely, it could be the very act of ripping apart (as she would pointedly say) “the tourniquet…(to) let the platelets flow”. In short, I might be further scarred in the writing process!
However, it will allow me to feel something at the end, which as of now I know not what (but which I’ve been promised I will know when I’m finished with this project). And feeling something is the place I want to be in. Oh baby do I ever!
And so, starting today, starting now, I am going to write. I am going to learn. I am going to transform. I am going to transcend.
I’m going to do this with an intent, resolve and discipline I’ve never had, but which I desire to have for the first time in my life. And I hope that I, and the ones I love, will survive this potentially arduous journey, and emerge stronger and better than I, or they, have ever been before.
And maybe, just maybe at the end of this journey, I’ll have found the acceptance, identity and recognition that I so yearn for, not just as a stay-home dad, but as a fellow human being among others on this little rock we call Earth.