I think I mentioned either here or in a comment somewhere that I am having my kids write their own memoirs as a senior project. When I assigned the project, I assured them that I would be doing it with them. Now, I have decided that I’m going to share my own memoir in pieces with all of you. The versions I present here may be edited to contain more information than those that I gave to my students as examples but the format will remain the same.
Chapter 1 was to be about who I am and who I plan to become. It is as follows:
Ch. 1: I am More Than…
My entire life I thought that it was a bad thing to be “too much.” I was told that I was “too sensitive” that I was “too emotional.” I internalized these messages and learned to hate myself. I was once told that I was like a “fly circling a person’s head that just wouldn’t go away.” In that moment, those words felt like the truest words that I had ever heard. I was annoying. I was persistent. I was a nuisance. I was just some whitetrash girl who grew up in a Podunk town in Texas. I was a nobody and a nothing. At least, that’s what I thought. That’s what I was told by the words and actions of everyone around me. Eventually, however, I learned that it’s okay to be more. I am more. I am more than all the harsh words and all the hurtful things anyone has ever done to me.
I am an Aurora Borealis. I am the color that lights up the dark night sky.
I am tenacious and resilient. I am a hardcore warrior woman. My emotions make me more empathetic, they connect me with people in ways that those who aren’t “too emotional” can never understand. This will serve me well in my future career as a counselor and clinical psychologist. And, yes, I am “too much” but I am too much in so many good ways. I am too stubborn but that means I have accomplished every dream I’ve ever had for myself. I am too present sometimes but that means I am incredibly loyal. I am too sensitive but that means I am observant, that means that I can see when other people are in pain; I can see when other people have need and I can be there for them when other, less sensitive people might not.
I will accomplish my current dream of becoming a counselor just as I have accomplished all my other dreams. And, I will do so by using these insults turned strengths. I will take my resilience and tenacity and plunge myself deep into the depths of grad school (again). I will take my “too emotional” and “too sensitive” sides and turn them into tools that benefit others. I will show my true colors to all those who ever hurt me with words or hurt me with actions.
Because I am more than…. I rise above.