You are the Author of Your Own Life
Dianna Hatfield Clemenson
A memoir is essentially about making sense of one’s life. Socrates, the Greek Athenian philosopher, is credited with the quote, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Whether he meant that a life without the pursuit of wisdom is meaningless, or that one who does not reflect upon one’s life has a meaningless existence, is debatable. Perhaps a reader of memoirs is trying to determine which is most true. Perhaps a reader of memoirs is trying to make sense of her or his life by understanding how memoirists explain theirs.
An individual’s beliefs have a profound effect on one’s life, of this I am sure. The stories we tell about our past influence our future. Consider this: How might one’s future be impacted by the following two narratives?
“My parents were drunks who never amounted to anything. They abused and neglected me and my childhood sucked.”
“My parents were wounded individuals who found each other and made each other even more miserable. I was lucky to get an education and make a good life for myself.”
I have a perspective on this, as you might imagine, if you’ve read Witness to Violence: A Hatfield Family Story. You are the author of your life. You may choose to accept the script handed to you, or you may choose to write your own story. While you may not have had much control over your life as a child, you do have control over your life as an adult. Claim this power, examine your life and do whatever is necessary to make it meaningful, and joyful.