Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Beauty in Writing a Memoir

        Honestly, like I said in my last post, people have been trying to get me to write a book for years, and I just thought why? You never think “Oh I’m being brave” when it’s about you. You just think, “My only choice is to go along with what they’re saying, because supposedly it’s going to make me feel better.” You learn to trust doctors, and then you sadly learn, how fast, that trust can turn to dust. Like a fire burning logs in your living room. The trust is there, but as the fire starts burning it destroys the logs, and slowly the logs turn to dust. That was what it was like to have a doctor who I thought was a God when I first met him, and the fire was burning inside me to have him be right; to fix me; and then the first and second time he was right, and then the fire slowly began to burn the insides of me, and it kept burning.
        But the point I was getting at what is the beauty in writing a memoir? In my opinion the beauty in writing a memoir about something as personal as I did was the things I learned about myself in the process. I thought I had explored everything that came with the past 13 years. All the feelings, all the sadness, all the anger, all the happiness, I thought I had felt it all. And I did. To a point. But it wasn’t until I started my memoir that I realized I still had so much more left to explore. I didn’t realize that there was so much that I still didn’t know. And I didn’t know some of the feelings that I would feel going back and reliving all of this again. Was I taking a risk? Maybe, but it’s like jumping into a pool of sharks to save your life. You have to do it to save your life, but you don’t know what you’re in for after you jump. Well I did what Robin told me to do, I jumped. I wasn’t scared, I just said, “Whatever I find out, I probably was going to find out at some point.” 
        I never knew I was capable of doing something this great. That’s why this took me so long to do. People have been telling me for years to write a memoir, and I always said, “Oh yeah that would be cool,” but never in a serious way, I just sort of childishly thought, Oh yeah if the words just flow out of me one day, I’ll just write them down and it will all be perfect.” I never knew writing a book would be this hard. I had naively thought, “Oh since I know what I’m writing about this should be easy.” Boy was I wrong. This has turned into the hardest thing I’ve probably ever done. But it has definitely been the most healing. I never knew how many wounds I still had from this entire experience. I just said, before I started this, I thought I had felt everything I was going to feel, cried about everything I was going to cry about, and was mad about everything I was going to be mad about. But I wasn’t.
        I never realized how much writing this book was going to cause me to grow up. I never realized how much writing this book was going to force me to forgive people. They say, you can forgive but you can never forget. And I think that’s true. IT’s sort of final in a way, like you’re saying “you did this and I’m forgiving you.” But at the same time, you’re saying, “yes I forgive you, but I will never forget what you did to me.” It’s like falling down and scraping your knee. The scar that it leaves, you can never forget. You may be upset, that heals, and you get over it. The wound may heal but the scar that it leaves, never lets you forget.
        So to close out this post, let me just say, I never thought of myself as a fantastic writer. I liked to write on my own time, just to be creative I guess, but I never thought, that I would write a book or so anything this extravagant. But now that I’m “done” with my part of the book I can’t wait to send it off to my friend who is going to edit it for me, so I can see what another person thinks! And a look to the future, I hope to see all of you in line to get a copy of Kimi’s book! <3

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Embarking on New Territory: But as My Book Says, It's Beautiful

As many of you know, I've finally taken my friends' advice and done something productive with it. I am attempting to write a book. I thought about this long and hard before I started. Am I emotionally ready? Is this going to make me feel awful reliving all of this again. And on and on and on with question after question after question. And you know what? I answered a total of zero of them.  I'm doing what I first learned from my dear dear friend Robin 10 years ago, and that was to just jump in.  Sometimes you never know until you do and it could end up being the best thing you've ever done.

I went back and read all of my mom's copious notes on when I was the sickest, and I will admit I stopped many times. I said, "Maybe you're not ready to do this." But then I heard Robin's voice in my ear; her crackly, high, ever so sweet voice. Telling me to go for it, that even though she wasn't with me physically she was with me in my heart, and she would help me through it. And I started writing and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. And suddenly two months later I was on page 160. I read it all over again, and thought to myself, how do I remember all of this in such detail? I remember what my doctor's nurse said to me word for word after my first shunt tap, I remember who my very first nurse was at U of C, I know who came to my graduation party at U of C. I remembered everything. And when I felt like I had the shell of the book done, I just sat there literally in awe, of what I had just done. What I had remembered, when I had tried for the past ten years to block it out in any way I possibly could.

As I was writing this, when I got about 20 pages into it, I stopped and thought to myself, how can this be a book? All I'm writing is tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. This doesn't even read like a book. How can I do this? But something told me to just keep going, to not worry about it right now, just to keep writing. I was finally happy that my work got rid of my Youtube privileges (You know all for "Professional reasons") lol. Because I was working on this all day rather than watching pointless videos. I thought to myself a lot while writing this book. Are people going to be able to relate to what I've been through? Are people ever going to "get it". And then suddenly I realized it doesn't matter; that they might not understand it, but that's OK. If they have empathy in their hearts they can just read it and say Wow that was a great book. Or not lol.

Being sick has taught me so much more than I could have ever learned on my own. It has allowed me to see things with a different set of eyes. A more compassionate, empathetic set of eyes. And even though I'm in pain every second of every day, I can say now, that this really has turned into something beautiful. I've made friends I never thought I would have made, done things I never would have done. And I have being "sick" to thank for every single thing I've done. Every feeling I've felt for the past 12 years. I don't know how my life would have gone if I hadn't gotten sick. But I can definitely say with no doubt say it's been the scariest, darkest most beautiful walk I've ever been on.