From Vein of Gold “the Kingdom of Story” there are a series of exercises geared towards creating your own autobiography with an eye towards understanding your motivations through your eyes rather than through someone else’s.
To get some perspective:
Me at 18, my senior picture. My aunt had died the day before.
The major events of my life – the ones that matter to me – so far:
Breaking my collarbone on a kiddy rollercoaster. (1986)
My first love, when I was 17. (1993)
Going to college (1994)
Transferring colleges (1996)
My first published article (1999)
Breaking my ankle (2002)
Moving to Minneapolis (2002)
My father’s death (2009)
A dream where I went through the kittens in my crib and floated through an introduction to the people in my life and the events. I came back sorry the dream ended.
Jumping off a diving board at the high school pool, aware of what I was doing, utterly absent of fear, just curious to see what I’d been watching everyone else do.
Wearing purple overalls that were a hand-me-down from my sister, standing on a scale and biting into a plum to celebrate some weight loss after my mother had put me on a diet.
A sandfight with the neighbor boys that left me completely covered in sand.
Deciding after my first day of kindergarten that I was done with school and setting off door to door selling crayons and plastic fashion plates – I made a nickel and was picked up by the police half an hour later.
Some weird tantrum of my mother’s where I was told to run outside and play; the only time in my life she ever sincerely apologized to me after she mistreated me.
Mom’s Olive Oyl punching balloon cake that tipped over.
Mom showing me my sixth birthday cake while I was on the phone – it had circus animals, and was cool. She was offended when I said it was nice.
The mean girls in my Brownies troop, who cheated at checkers.
Learning what “lesbian” meant and stopping holding hands with Deanna.
Mrs. Rastovski yelling at me for smiling while she was reading about sharks; this was the same woman who gave a good citizen award to every girl in class except me and then expected homage when I came back on an elementary school tour with the band.
Noticing and being disturbed by the varying levels of literacy in my classmates – teachers should NOT force kids to read out loud unless they’re practicing reading exercises.
My 15th birthday party before my friends began to splinter into adolescent damage. Bobby and Julie licking each other on Mom’s new couch.
The mean girls in 6th grade developing a fake boyfriend for me.
My tendency to correct grammar and alienate people.
Jen S. deliberately stepping on the heels of my shoes as I walked down the hallway. Years later giving her Kleenex when it was clear she’d been dumped even though I really didn’t want to.
Eric L. (who’s in porn now) calling me a “nerdette.” Recognize he was too stupid to realize “nerd” is gender neutral. Look back on life, look at him now, and feel very, VERY glad I’m a nerd because it means my life’s not over the minute plastic surgery can no longer help.
Breaking my collarbone on a kiddy rollercoaster.
My first boyfriend, and my first kiss.
My first relationship ending in ignominy and drama.
The toilet flood.
Starting to write original stories, often fantasies about what I wished my friends and daily life were like. My family was always absent from those stories.
Seeing Doctor Who for the first time; actually dreaming I was the fifth doctor’s companion and that he sought me out for my imagination.
Breaking my collarbone on a kiddy rollercoaster.
Losing 60 pounds on my own – and then having no idea how to deal with having a “normal” body.
My sister recovering memories of abuse.
Chewbakka eating my 16th birthday cake.
Losing my virginity.
Graduating from high school.
Going to Wisconsin for college.
The mess that was my relation-friendship with Paul Hamilton, none of which was handled well by either side.
Paul’s dog Kelly.
My first job, working at the Ponderosa with truly horrible people…and my friend Devin.
Devin and Marcie dating.
Trying to negotiate college with no car (it sucks, and makes things way harder than they need to be.)
Driver’s ed in Highland, and Dad’s best friend teaching me how to drive.
Dad’s best friend dying of cancer shortly after that – my sister and I suspecting we may have had a hand in shortening his life.
My first love.
The frat boys I would hang out with in my dorm.
My mother waiting until I was in a moving car to start criticizing my friends.
My mother’s increasingly hostile behavior.
My sister and mother constantly having drama, and constantly enduring crap at school until the only place I felt safe or at peace was in transit between home and school.
My sister’s baby shower, her father-in-law “reassuring” me I would be the next to get pregnant, provoking my need to make it very clear to everyone I had much better things to do with my life – and I did!
My family forbidding me to move to Minnesota – and my doing it anyway, realizing that if they were “forbidding” me when I was 20 I needed to get the hell away from them.
Miserable hours spent in marching band, orchestra, pep band, music contests…there was a bright spot in my friend Stephanie, but mostly I was surrounded by mean-spirited people and self-interested music directors who didn’t give a damn I was unhappy.
Finding a new level of competence and self-direction on my college newspaper.
Getting driven off my college newspaper because of campus politics.
My parents’ dismissive attitude when I called them upset.
My parents really hating my boyfriend John. I really did, too – and my damn roommate kept letting him back in!
Converting to Wicca. My mother kidnapping me for Easter holidays as a result.
Never, EVER having a full and civilized conversation about my beliefs and why they had changed.
My grandfather’s funeral. Lots of boring relatives cornering me so they could talk about themselves nonstop. My uncle hiding the pictures of my family and his sister’s family that were supposed to be out, mainly because he’s a rotten excuse for a human being. Also, his delivery of a truly insulting eulogy. Everyone but me ignoring Grandma, who was having a meltdown. Me being completely unequipped for a meltdown from someone with 87 years of life on-hand.
Being forced to walk home in a nasty ice storm, to find my entire family home – and that no one had even bothered to try and get me.
Graduating from college, and only one family member, the uncle I absolutely dislike, acknowledging it.
Dating Tanner, the alcoholic.
My niece’s birth, and my mother locking her keys in the car that day. I tried to pick the car’s lock with a hanger, and people in the lot waited for me to break into the car so they could take the spot.
My parents visiting me at Mankato State and my friends asking them to buy me some damn shoes.
The severe and nasty weight gain after going on birth control pills.
My conscious decision not to try to force myself to diet the weight gain off.
My mother wanting to talk to me about Wicca – or more specifically, about why the Bible said it was wrong. Again, not a two way conversation, but I shut her down saying that what we know about Christianity comes from reading just as much as Wicca does.
My mother and sister going out of their way to ruin my wedding.
The bad marriage.
My first published and paid article.
Isolation, boredom, anger, stagnance, Mankato.
Announcing our engagement part I: “she’s just using you!” part II: “what do you mean you’re never coming back for Christmas?” – after I had prepared the entire Christmas Eve meal, much of the Christmas meal, helped iron clothes and prepare my mother for her church service (and the sermon was insultingly directed at me) and heard my mother tell my sister that she was “still a guest in her house, but I still owed her” because the college required me to list my address at her home even though I wasn’t living there. My mother forced me to make salad dressing I hated, and refused to let me serve it on the side, saying I needed to “learn to compromise.” I realized that this was because she was determined to “win” made more of a problem when she demanded I apologize to my sister, who showed up three hours late and had only helped prepare one dish – that our mother intervened on. My sister loudly demanded an “explanation” for my statement, and it was patently obvious to me: the women were treating me like shit, and my father was doing nothing about it.
Tried to imagine my life if I’d moved back to Indiana. Assumed it would have ended in suicide, or a murder-suicide pact.
Discovering a real aptitude for the occult.
Discovering a real aptitude for bellydance.
My entry into Daria fandom.
Giving tarot readings – a lot of them.
Running a ritual oils business in an effort to make money for occult books.
Moving to Minneapolis.
Developing chronic idopathic urticaria (which has never gone away since.)
Involvement in Pagan Pride.
Living alone for the first time in my life.
The Warehouse District apartment, with the great kitchen and the first floor access – leading me to be woken up by drunken shouts Thursday-Saturday.
Lionboy, Mark and other human lessons about myself.
University Pagan Society.
Wow, do people make a lot of assumptions about me without stopping to have a proper conversation or ten.
Meeting my now fiancee
30 – present
My old boss Fred’s death.
Moving from one awful apartment to another.
Finally landing in a good apartment.
Getting engaged to Mike with a proper proposal and everything.