I just finished watching the movie, Wild, based on the wonderful memoir by Cheryl Strayed. And as I walked out of that theater, I couldn’t help but feel sad and more alone than I have felt in a long while.
I wrote a memoir about getting married and divorced. I wrote a memoir about how lonely I was, about how it felt to have someone you love reject you, about how sometimes you need to start your life over again even if you lack the basic tools to do so. An agent loved my book, took it on as hers, and I thought that was the beginning of something. But publishers didn’t love it like we did. They felt that nothing happened. They like books like Wild, because in that book something happened. So I had to make something happen. Now it’s a different book. I miss my memoir.
Crises are not always big. Sometimes they are small and fall into the crevices of our hearts. Hearts are not smooth, nor are they heart-shaped.
What if your crisis is that you eat too much?
What if your crisis is that you let your kids have too much sugar, or that you and your husband had exactly two therapy-worthy fights in front of them?
What if your crisis is that you told your father you hated him once, and have never forgiven yourself for it?
I walked myself to sanity once too. It was not the Pacific Crest Trail, but it was South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre, and that path back to the one and only place I have ever lived on my own, was just as treacherous.
What if your crisis is that you don’t protect yourself from anything or anyone?
What if your crisis is that you don’t always know where to put a comma?
What if your crisis is that you loved someone that you shouldn’t have?
What if your crisis is that you don’t like playing board games with your kids?
What if your crisis is that you feel like no other person on the face of this earth understands you just as you are?
I don’t have one big crisis to sustain a book. I have a million little ones that I carve into my chest day after day.