I just finished reading lucky by Alice Sebold. Well, to be perfectly accurate, I just finished listening to it. I have become so bored with the radio on my 30 minute, one way, commute that I always have an audio book from the library to accompany me on the ride. I’ve listened to a number of books this way, mostly fiction. And, like lucky, a lot of them were a little old. I never mind being late to the party, as long as I eventually show up.
I didn’t realize the book was a memoir when I picked it up. I had read and enjoyed The Lovely Bones and the library was closing and giving their “gather your final selections and check out” warning so I just grabbed it. Her story was interesting and became incredibly powerful as I listened to her narrate it. She is a rape survivor and tells the story of the rape and the aftermath. Her story was interesting, yes. What made it powerful was her ability to communicate it in such an eloquent manner. In fact, she addresses in the book that perhaps one of the main reasons that her rapist is convicted is that she is a “good witness”. She was able to not only maintain her composure on the witness stand, but she was able to articulate her point so effectively her rapist was found guilty.
Isn’t that true with life in general? Those who are able to communicate effectively and convey their message are able to get farther, do more, gain more. I feel that everyone has a story; not everyone has the ability to tell it. A good story teller can make almost anything entertaining, right?
I was inspired by Ms. Sebold’s story. I was inspired by her tenacity in seeing her rapist convicted. I was also inspired by her powerful way of writing. It inspired me to “finally” get started on a memoir. I don’t have some secret past and nothing that happened to me would make a person gasp. In fact, it’s probably quite tame compared to what others have gone through. I’ve also shot down the idea of a memoir over the years because I knew it would focus on my relationship and the breakdown of said relationship with my mother. While it’s not something I dwell on at all, it is something that shaped who I am today for better or worse. I’ve resisted the idea because I feel like it isn’t just my story to tell. The story belongs to her too. It’s not a story where one was wronged and the other is clearly the perpetrator. But, after giving it much thought and again, by being inspired by lucky, I’ve begun writing it. It may never see the light of day, but it will be my memoir. My side of things.