Once again I find myself wondering why I want to write a memoir.
Recently I realized that both the books I wrote for early childhood educators are, in fact, types of memoirs, because I share my story so that teachers will feel comfortable exploring their own. I do this because I want them to learn self reflection so that they may improve their relationships with young children. Time and again I am surprised when readers of my books let me know that they are inspired by my story. I guess my surprise comes because that was not the original purpose when I wrote my books. My goal was to model self reflection, and show how "internal ethnography," as I call it, can help us (as teachers) improve our understanding of why we do what we do. Thus, we become more aware and intentional about our actions and behaviors, and are less inclined to unwittingly humiliate or hurt children in our care.
When readers are inspired by my story, my surprise also comes because I cannot imagine my story as inspiring anyone. After all, I have lived it all my life. It is old, familiar and habitual. My life script was written into the emotional memory templates of my brain decades ago, and my struggle to alter it has, indeed, been a challenge. But it was my challenge – still is – and even struggles and challenges are old, familiar and habitual by now. And yet, somehow, others are inspired by my story of resilience and how I survived and overcame my childhood trauma. As I start to see my story through the eyes of readers of my books, I understand differently what, in fact, I went through to become the person I am today.
And so, I guess that one of the reasons for writing memoir is to tell a story about how we survived trauma.
We are inspired by stories of resilience, because seeing how others are able to overcome trauma gives us hope to survive our own.
A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Benevolent dictator