I write because I cannot remember everything. I write because I want to remember special moments. I write because I want to remember people, good and bad. I write because history changes so quickly. Not everything I write is important to share publicly and many things that occurred privately have not been discussed in an open forum. I write because I want–need–some peace in my life. Writing is my escape from people, places, things I cannot change.
When I was younger, I struggled to cope with the loss of my mother and Bart’s murder. Their absence from my life completely changed my life trajectory. I chose to leave Rhode Island and then I made a life changing decision to become a Marine. This decision had more than a temporary effect on my life, one that persists today.
I catch myself being caught off guard by my emotions as I start writing small stories to share in my planned book. My interpretation of certain events is just that, mine. For this reason, I am intentionally seeking people’s permission to share my view of our shared life experiences. So many things/people/experiences will be intentionally excluded which lends a certain perspective to my story as does the inclusion of other details. My emotional responses then and now as I construct these drafts remind me I love and enjoy storytelling.
I’m on guard–for the most part–in my public life. I have certain responsibilities and obligations in my daily life to fulfill that require a certain demeanor. My temper must be subdued. I can’t call people out for their inappropriate behavior, even when they act like petulant children. When I’m comfortable in the presence of guys, this ease–as my Marine Corps experiences have taught me–is often misinterpreted. Our mainstream American culture, and its notions of heterosexual relations, sees closeness between men and women as heavily influenced by sexual intimacy and not always trust, personality compatibility, and interested in shared goals.
A huge area of concern for me, in my writing, is the fact I have so few examples of female leadership. My spring studies taught me this is not inconvenient data, using some verbiage from my instructor, Dr. Weitz. Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy talking about some of the women I’ve met in my life. So often, I’ve felt awkward in the company of women. Some are either too feminine, some are my competitors, and others are there asking for someone else to take care of them for their lifetimes. Hence my struggle to adequately discuss women when I have such a biased opinion against people of my own gender.
I wish I could write about women as easily as I could (and can) write about the men in my life.