In real estate, it may be location, location, location but in writing and indeed all creative pursuits it all boils down to character, character, character. The noblest creative pursuit I know often doesn’t include writing, composing, painting, dancing, or even yoga – it is simply this; living a life true to you that honours your unique gift.
At times I lose sight of what I know to be true, that my “weirdness” is my gift and I ask myself, “why can’t I just be normal?”, “why can’t I keep a 9-5 job?”, “why must I write about the tensions, secrets, dishonesties and the miraculous mysteries of life that no one else seems to register?”
Unfortunately, when this resistance to my work arises, there are distractions galore that disguise themselves as worthy pursuits. I forget all about my values, self-examination, creativity, community and growth and get sucked into time-wasters created by others on their healing journeys.
Isn’t it more tempting to waste time on social media with complete strangers than sit down and write my own memoir (that reveals my flaws) and work with difficult clients, like my own family, to help them tell their own truths so that we might come together in an authentic way, as people, and not because we’re being manipulated, guilt-tripped or bullied into it?
How does one begin their journey of taking authorship of their own life? Ask a memoir writer and she’ll tell you to get very clear about the protagonist, YOU. What makes a memoir empowering, therapeutic, healing and worthwhile for both the writer and the readers is this: You are in charge of your own fate. All the people and the obstacles, the challenges, the bullies, horrible jobs and bosses, are all manifestations of yourself, or more accurately, your subconscious and the parts of yourself you dislike and disown. All of life’s situations are there to challenge you, so you grow and remember who you really are. It’s futile spending a whole lifetime running away from the kingdom or the queendom, you must reclaim.
Let’s start remembering who you are and to do this we start with the basics.
Name, Age, Sex, Location, Occupation
Eda is my name. In Turkish, it means “attitude” and was given to me because my father had dreams of living in an English-speaking country knowing that “Eda” would be easy to pronounce for Anglophones.
I’m forty-one and have two young daughters aged four and two. I’m a female but when I write, I can easily see male perspectives of events. This is because I’m a competitive person who has a tyrannical, Darth Vader-like shadow inherited from my father who can narrow his focus to Steve Jobs’ fabled “laserlike” abilities to get the results he seeks. I live in Sydney and Australia is the country I made the conscious choice to be a part of because of the values I see reflected in the locals.
Irreverence for people who take themselves too seriously (politicians) and politics, respect for nature, groundedness are the qualities I value, as are self-examination, creativity, community and growth.
I am a writer.
Personality, Habits and Appearance
I am sensitive and like an elephant, I never forget what people said or did and how that made me feel. This is what makes me a good memoir writer. Even though I say I value creativity, if given an hour to create something new or tidy up or organise my home, I will choose what I consider to be “real work” which is in the physical world and what can be easily seen, like a clean home versus a dirty one, or ironed shirts as opposed to wrinkled ones. I am a complex human being full of contradictions and conditioning from my mother and her mother, who thought the success of a woman was measured in the tidiness of her home.
My habits irritate others because I ask probing questions. I’m often not satisfied with people brushing me off. I want to ask them “what are you seeing in me that you dislike?”, “do I represent something you judge?”, “why are you judging me?”, “are you aware that you are what you judge?”
I don’t take care to have a consistent appearance even though I am inspired by Steve Jobs to have an iconic look. My hair can be up, down, straight or curly. I can put make-up on or often not bother. One thing that’s consistent this year is the orange bead bracelet I wear that was given to me by my mother-in-law as a Christmas present. It was made by African women. Orange is the colour of creativity and packs energy and that’s something I’m trying to invite into my life this year.
Strengths, Flaws and Love Life
My focus is a double-edged sword. What I often write about are the things I’m sensitive to and like most artists I’m frustrated that others don’t see or feel the things I pick up with my senses. Like Elsa from Frozen, I can sometimes hear the voice in my head moving me in a different direction than where everyone else seems to be heading. At times I feel alienated and try to overcompensate by trying too hard to fit in. I have a tendency to waste time overexplaining myself to the wrong people who are not ready to receive what I have to share.
My love life is with a man who has a red beard and is a fighter in the battle of wits. He reminds me of the Roman God of war, Mars, who was named after the red planet. I’ve given him the moniker “The Martian” for all of these qualities he reflects, which are in fact, qualities within me as well. I am a fighter as much as I like to pretend to be a peacemaker, but where I experience the most growth is out of the chaos of conflict where I can see how much power both sides have. A story without conflict is boring and as such, life should include a fair amount of battles well-picked.
Over to you…
What are some of the aspects of your shadow, the parts of yourself you hadn’t yet met, that you began to see through this brief exercise?
Don’t worry, we all have narcissistic, insensitive, tyrannical, bullying, weakling, manipulative, magical, naive tendencies. Shedding light on these keeps you from falling into the traps your ego sets up for you as you begin to step into your own powers and reclaim your very own kingdom.
BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THE “PLANNING YOUR BOOK” WORKSHEET TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR LIFE’S JOURNEY ON PAPER.