Writing an autobiography can be a daunting project, especially when you have lived sixty-two years, and have so much history. I work on it in spurts, and sometimes I get bogged down and just don’t want to face the enormous amount of work still to be done. For inspiration and encouragement I take writing classes and workshops. The workshops are great for feedback and to get me writing because I have to have something ready to present to the class each week. While searching the class catalog, I noticed a class titled ‘Write Your Own Story’. I thought, “This could be perfect,” but I wasn’t sure. I did not recognize the teacher’s name and hesitated before signing up. I really wanted another workshop. I finally did sign up, assuring myself if I didn’t like it I could just drop out.
I have not dropped out and am so glad I am taking this class. The class consist of 7 mature women and a female teacher, a teacher who, in her unique way, can get each of us to pour our hearts out onto paper. During the first class she instructed us to write about our elementary school lunchtime. As we read our work aloud to the class one at a time, we laughed, cried, and learned so much about each other. From this simple assignment I realized I was in the midst of an amazing group of women, women who have survived abuse, poverty, and tragedy. Their stories are heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.
Each new assignment requires us to dig deeper into our pasts and to learn to share these secret memories through writing. Some of the stories I am hearing may never have been shared with anyone before and I can see healing happening before my eyes. We are there as writing students, but have become a support group, encouraging, and comforting each other. These women’s stories are rich, human, and real. I truly hope each one of us completes our autobiography. With the help of our amazing teacher, who has an unimaginable story of her own, it just may happen.