Telling My Own Story . . . it Begins

I am on a journey in search of my own story. The question is, where do I begin?

“Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi.”

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start at my birth and catalog my existence through the years. That is not the story I need to find, I need to tell. This story begins with an Aha! Moment. If you’ve read some of my other posts recently, you know I have been reading  Creative is a Verb: if you’re alive, you’re creative by Patti Digh. In it she tells the story of her daughter going to camp, and of a photograph that “has become an emblem for [her] of all that is right about finally becoming your own self, of standing tall, of reinventing, of telling your own story about yourself, not the story that has always been told to you or of you” (Digh 57).

In the margin, I write in big letters: Tell your OWN story!!

Digh goes on to comment that she had been telling her daughter’s story “as the shy, timid one” (Digh 57). Another margin note to myself: Am I telling Sarah’s story?

And so this story begins, with the realization that I have yet to tell my own story and that I do not want to tell my daughter’s story for her. I want her to create her story from the beginning.

So perhaps the beginning goes farther back to a time when my parents, particularly my mother, told my story in a loving but perhaps naive way. One version of my story was the intelligent drama queen who would forget her head if it wasn’t attached.

I’ll never forget the first time I decided to visit a college friend during a break. She lived in Tucson, AZ and I’d never flown completely alone. I packed my bag carefully, including this pinkish/purplish neon nylon pocket-book (Sounds awful, I know, but you can’t account for tastes in the 80s) that contained my wallet and id. My mom dropped me off at the shuttle to the airport because she had to get to work. The whole drive she asked “Do you have everything? What did you forget? Are you sure you have everything?” because she truly believed that I was incapable of leaving with all belongings attached.

I had everything. I wasn’t worried.

I got to the airport and made a horrible discovery. The pocket-book was nowhere to be found. It was gone! Luckily this was a period where you still traveled with paper tickets (I had that still) and ID wasn’t as crucial, so I was able to get to the gate anyway. But I had no ID, no money, nada!

And the worst part was the idea floating in the back of my head “Mom was right, she’s going to kill me!”

As I waited to get on the plane I thought about what happened. I know I packed it! Where was the bag? How could I be so stupid?

The next thing I know, I’m on the plane, still stressing about what I was going to do. Suddenly, my name is called from the front,

“If Lisa Kramer is on the plane, please come up to the front.” My heart is beating a nervous, dramatic pattern (remember I’m the drama queen too). What did I do? Are they going to throw me off the plane?

I get to the front of the plane and there, standing at the door, is my red-haired mother panting like she had run miles, a smile on her face, purse in hand.

These were the days when airport security was lighter and people could actually go to the gates. It was also the time when OJ Simpson was not known as a psycho wife-killer maniac (oh wait, he was acquitted, oops) but rather for his skill on the field and commercials like this

My Mom became OJ Simpson running to the plane to rescue her daughter from the forgetful part of her story.

There was little time, as they had to close the doors. Mom said between pants, “I was so angry at you for forgetting this, then I realized it was my fault. I sped here and ran through the airport.” That’s when I remembered, Mom had INSISTED on adding some extra socks or underwear or something into my bag. SHE took the purse out and SHE forgot to put it back in! But she made up for it by reaching her inner speed racer and OJ in order to get the bag to me.

So what does that have to do with telling my story NOW? To this day, my mother stills sees me as the one who forgets things, and I think to some extent it gives her pleasure when I do. On the latest trip home I left behind shampoo and conditioner, nothing big but it proves the point.

That, however is part of HER STORY of me. I need to learn, to discover and to tell my OWN story.

This is just the beginning.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nathan010
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 11:17:32

    Video links are not working, which stinks. Let’s see if this works…


    • Lisa
      Jan 16, 2011 @ 11:44:08

      I changed the OJ link to a different one. I really wanted the one with him running through the airport and leaping over gates and things. Sigh.


  2. gracefulglider
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 18:08:48

    Wow Lisa… I love your style of writing you are not stuck in the narcissistic kind of write up yet you write about your experiences.
    It comes across as stuff we can all relate to!

    Lovely posts!
    Let’s stay literary connected.

    Love & Light!


    • Lisa
      Jan 17, 2011 @ 20:06:31

      Thank you so much. That is perhaps the nicest comment anyone has given me. I hope I can live up to it. I looked at your site, and all I can say is WOW!. Here’s to a new connection.


  3. Trackback: Confessions of a Female Idiot (Guest Post) « THE IDIOT SPEAKETH
  4. Trackback: Celebrating the Craziness | Woman Wielding Words

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