(AKA The most self-serving and awesome thing I’ve done, as a person who doesn’t ask for help well)
40 years ago on November 28, I was born in snowstorm in northern West Virginia, at the precipice of the 1970s. My parents rightfully took stock of the promise and pitfalls of the 1980s and, six months later, packed up all their possessions and their fat baby into a wood-paneled station wagon aimed for Michigan and its still-pumping oil rigs. Rarely in my 40 years have I stopped that forward motion of figuring out how best to live life and how to answer life’s questions. I’ve scurried down some darkened monster-filled valleys and climbed some pretty terrific mountains (metaphorically, of course) along the way. Perhaps you shared some of those unique vantage points with me.
To celebrate life in the way that feels the most “me,” I would like to invite you to collaborate with me on a “chapbook,” or a “zine,” or more simply put, a collection of stories and memories. Ideas, words, images, and sensory memories have always been my dearest possessions, from the moment I learned to read and realized I could escape and sojourn with my mind.
The best gift I could conceive of as a careworn 39-year old is help with a collection of memories and stories from my life.
You could share:
- A written memory, poem, or creative piece of writing of any form and in any language
- Photos of shared moments together or of things you think I’d like
- A drawing or a doodle
- An article or art of another author’s or artist’s work that resonates
- Small memorabilia from a shared experience (e.g. photocopies of concert tickets)
- A social media post that makes you think about me
Memory is a tricky mistress. I’ve found that I store emotional and sensory memories well (my mood, the mood of others, the temperature and ambiance of the environment), but I am short on details of what actually happened. It’s quite the opposite of how many people process life! For that reason, you might be surprised how much I would enjoy you recounting a simple time we had together in moments as mundane as going to the movies, or a nice dinner. Even better yet if you have a simple memory of a conversation or a joke told during one of our more high-energy exploits, such as planning large protests, or burning the midnight oil on a cause, I’d be delighted.
This is important: I know and love MANY people who do not enjoy writing or reading. If you’ve gotten this far, you could still participate by recording a voice memo, a two-sentence email, or by asking a mutual friend to share on your behalf.
Please send your submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org by November 1. Please let me know if you consider your submission private or if you’d be okay with me sharing it. I have no plans to produce this into a book for anyone but myself, but just in case.
Thank you SO much!
PS. If this truly isn’t your thing, feel free to share a birthday gift towards my future housing fund. If that sounds too boring you can choose to earmark this as “roadtrip” because OF COURSE I want to do the great American road trip like every eccentric introvert in the U.S. Paypal: email@example.com Venmo: @tiffany-ten
PPS. TBA on birthday party plans in Boston. Pencil in Saturday, November 23 and let me know you’re interested. More details soon!