Story Challenge Day 15: Rambling Autobiography

I was born right after midnight on July 5, right after my parents enjoyed the last of the fireworks display, right after their police escort to the hospital through traffic, right after my dad went to park the car, only to come in to his newest baby girl.

I adore new school supplies, and maybe that caters to the nerd in me and I don’t care. I was nerd before nerd was cool. (Does that make me hipster?) “I bought” isn’t really a phrase that I use much for myself, because I’m usually buying for other folks: groceries, candy for the copy room, stuff for my boys – or I’m just buying stuff I need like gas or what-not. I have a problem, maybe, in treating myself to wonderful things, or maybe I’m just happy with what I have. Depends on the day. I never really want to use never, because there are so many nevers I’ve done. One of my favorite things to do is to bake, because it’s a creative endeavor that I can see the beginning and end of, and I pretty much know without a doubt it’s going to make other people happy.

When I was 21, the same age as my older son, I thought I knew so very much about life, but I really was just a puppy, which gives me perspective, perhaps, on how he sees himself, sees me. My favorite place is somewhere outside, like on a mountain trail or in the forest or on the beach with my toes stuck in sand. I can still feel the cold early-March waves of the Gulf of Mexico as I body-surfed with my dad on that one trip to Florida when I was in junior high. I dated sparingly in high school, and I think it’s a combination of 1) not being tremendously dateable and 2) being completely oblivious to the signs of anyone who may actually have wanted to date me, and 3) yes, I see the irony in the combination of my first two reasons. I fainted once, I think, in high school, when I was at a dance, because I felt myself go down and then opened my eyes to a bunch of people standing around, and I was so embarrassed that I just got up and pretended like nothing happened, although if I really fainted, I probably should have gotten looked at.

I gave blood for the first time shortly after my first son was born, realizing, after having given birth, that being stuck with a needle is really not as big of a deal as I had originally made it out to be. I once had a need to have people like me, but now that’s faded in contrast to my desire to live as my authentic self and let other people figure out what to do with it. I am my best version of myself every single day as I’m waiting to fall asleep, thinking about all the ways I can improve myself the next day, which is coincidentally why I gave up writing New Year’s resolutions.

I want to keep living in a way that lets me learn more about myself, that lets me bring light to other people, that brings me to new places and lets me try new things.

Thanks, Fran Haley, for bringing this writing form my way! She got her inspiration from Denise Krebs. Here are the starters, if you want to give it a try.

I was born…
I adore…
I bought…
I have…
I never…
One of my…
When I was (age)…
My favorite place…
I can still (sense)…
I dated…
I fainted…
I gave…
I once had…
I am…
I want to…

Interested in learning more about the March Slice of Life Challenge, or wanting to read more great posts? Head over to the Two Writing Teachers site!

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

18 thoughts on “Story Challenge Day 15: Rambling Autobiography

  1. Hi, Lainie! I love this post! It tells so much about yourself (I guess that’s the point). I also love that you got the idea from two other writers I am familiar with – Denise and Fran! Thanks for the idea! Great job on the post!

  2. This is such a great way to let people know about you. I especially like the line, “I once had a need to have people like me, but now that’s faded in contrast to my desire to live as my authentic self and let other people figure out what to do with it.” So many people try to live up to other’s expectations that they never become who they are suppose to be. As a result, they end up unhappy.

    1. Thank you! It’s a constant battle for me, but the older I get, the more I veer into this (better!) territory…

  3. I am really enjoying the variety of these rambling autobiographies! There are some choice shifts in yours that feel like a sudden turn or jerk on a roller coaster ride where you think you know where it’s going and then there’s that little surprise that makes you gasp or giggle or both. From body surfing with dad to dating then fainting; “I have a problem… maybe I’m just happy…” It would be fun and fascinating to do a black out poem of the text. I’m almost tempted. Thanks for feeding my imagination so generously again.

  4. Ooh! I love this mini autobiography. Mostly because I get to learn even more about you! You and I have a few things in common and that’s going to be such fabulous when we meet someday. 😎. I may have to give this form a try.

    1. oooh…meeting in PERSON. That would be AMAZING!

      Well…there *is* a slicer meet-up next Thursday night. I’m going to be there, so….?

  5. This is fun, as others have said, we can learn so much about each other through these autobiography prompts. I love yours and all the details you have put in along the way. Fascinating. Too many things I like to be able to pick out one or two…!

  6. I love these rambling autobiographies! It also helps put our own selves in perspective. Makes you sit back and dig yourself out from under the rush of the day. I admire how you’ve come into your own, but I guess as we mother along our years, we tend to do that. Great read!

    1. Thank you! And now that I consider it, it might be interesting for me to complete this autobiography in 5, 10, 15 years and see how I’m evolving…

  7. First: I love the photo you chose to go with this. A mirror for reflection of self, with a gorgeous, celebratory frame. Then the multiple reflections of you that it captures – much as your words capture the versions of you, the one that was evolving into the one that is. “I am my best version of myself every day” – a mighty phrase of acceptance, and, accordingly, empowerment and freedom to be just that. Know that you DO being so much light to others – I can attest to it myself – just seeing your name on the TWT page or a comment notification creates a bright moment of anticipation. Your words are like glittering jewels, always – hey, ties back to that frame. 🙂

    1. THANK YOU, dear Fran, for your kind and supportive words. They’ve already gone in my “happy jar” file. Yes. I have a happy jar file.

      As for that best version of myself every day? Well…that might also be somewhat aspirational. Like, I *imagine* what that best self looks like, talks like, does. I always think I can achieve it, but being human often fall short.

      Thanks for seeing what I saw with the mirror as well. I love that piece of art, which is made even more powerful by the fact that a student made it for me. In a complete bit of serendipity, the morning I published that piece, my husband bumped that mirror and sent beads all over the hallway floor. I’ll let that be a metaphor for whatever it wants to be…

  8. Well it appears we are two peas in a pod from our high school dating to love of school supplies. Even retired, I cannot resist the great deals and am drawn over to the school supply aisle and HAVE to buy some every year. And give me a mountain trail or beach shoreline to walk along anyday! I’ll have to try this mini autobio format. Enjoyed reading yours. 🙂

    1. Right? I mean, there is something deeply satisfying about new crayons. As for the format, yes! It’s fun – and it was a good creative challenge as well.

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