This appears to be the state I'm currently in. Things are happening, changing...things that will significantly effect me personally, but I chose to remain outside of them. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself.
I gave my author's presentation tonight in class. For those of you who know me at all, you know that even the thought of standing up in front of a room full of people - all staring at me - seriously strikes terror into my heart. (Unless of course I'm drunk and singing Karaoke) That being said I think it went well. My brain is sufficiently fried from work and class, but I also can't wind down. I'm afraid it will be a long night of thinking and overanalyzing for me. This insomnia is something I've come to know rather well. My body is tired, but my mind refuses to sleep. It's a vicious battle in which my body typically loses.
Anyway, the topic of my presentation was this idea of writing in a "mock memoir" format, using Erica Jong's Fear of Flying as an example. A MUST read if you haven't already. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, I tried looking it up, but a definition does not yet seem to exist. Or at least not an official definition. However, simple context clues have allowed me to come up with a relevant definition:
Memoir: a written record of a person's knowledge of events or of their own experiences
Mock: to resemble or imitate something very closely
So...a mock memoir is simply a form of writing author's use that imitates a memoir in many ways, but can not be defined as memoir because it is loosely based on events or experiences of the author rather than being a completely accurate and factual account or record.
In talking about and compare this mock memoir vs. memoir I thought about them in terms of fact vs. fiction, and all the grey areas in between. So where do we draw the line? You can't compare an emotion to fact. You can't really prove how someone did or didn't feel. So in essence writer's of memoir's could blur or embellish the truth about what they thought or felt with little protest. I guess this goes back to the idea that the "truth" really is in the eye of the beholder. I prefer to write in mock memoir as opposed to memoir...it let's you take out the parts about your life that you maybe don't like or would prefer to "fix". This form of writing allows you to tell the almost true story.
This is essentially what Jong does in her novel. Through the character she creates in likeness of herself, Isadora Wing, she explores the internal and external conflicts: love, sex, freedom, feminism, etc, that she has encountered on this journey to find herself and her purpose in life. I wanted to share a quote from the book that really encompasses all of these things into one sentence in such a simple and direct way.
"I'm just trying to lead my own fucking life if I can manage to find it in all this confusion."
I don't know about you, but I can totally relate to this statement. Side note: Speaking of life, I'm turning 25 in 5 days...oh the places I thought I would be at this age. Definitely not here. It's funny how, as children, we grow up believing that our lives will turn out a certain way. We begin meticulously planning our every move, unaware that all of this planning will get us no where. Yes, as children we are in this constant state of ignorant bliss, and we can't wait to grow up. Then when we finally do we wish we could stop time right in its tracks. Maybe even turn it back a little. If we could just do certain moments over we wouldn't take them for granted this time...Yep. We didn't know how good we had it as children. The whole world and our whole lives in front of us. Right at our finger tips. All we had to do was jump.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, for now, I'm going back to this state of ignorant bliss. There are just some things I would rather not know. The future's not going anywhere. It will come, but I'm not going to let it loom over me.
Until next time...