My mind works differently than most minds do. The way I remember things, the details that are important, the poignant memories, what I consider relevant and pertinent and telling, all tend to differ from what’s expected. This can be good. I make connections that others do not, and can usually explain them in a way that works—not only to express the idea, but to win support for it.
But sometimes this works against me. I’ve lived my life for so long—it is my life after all—that I don’t find it at all extraordinary. I’ve met so many people (at least virtually) whose stories have pertinent, relevant, telling similarities that I don’t really find myself to be all that interesting; at least, I’m not sure why other people should find me interesting.
Most people consider this an ego thing, low self-esteem and all that. But that’s not really it, at least not completely. I choose to associate with people who, compared to the assumed norm, are at least a little bit extraordinary. Extraordinary is my normal.
So, when I decided to tell my story for my nonfiction book, it wasn’t about telling my story, it was about how my story could illuminate the lessons I’ve learned that I wanted to share. So, for me, chronology and the like didn’t matter. It was about relevance. The focus was about the conclusions, not the big picture of how I reached them.
But then I started talking with someone who wasn’t familiar with my story, someone who was fascinated with my story. Perhaps, I thought, the story itself has value. And the more I considered, the more I realized that my story is what people have been asking for, that’s what they meant when they said I should write a book. I’m still not entirely sure why my story seems so fascinating to them, but I’ll tell it. So, now I have to go back and tell my story like it’s a story, instead of snippets of events that serve a purpose. The purpose is still there, but the journey serves that purpose.