It’s my truth, yo.

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about memories. During the holidays I was with my sister, who is several years older than me, and we were reminiscing about some things that happened when she was in high school and college.

“Remember how mom and dad wouldn’t buy you a car, so you used your Ice Cream Shoppe paycheck and went and bought a Camaro?  A 16-year-old buying a Camaro!  So crazy!”

She looked at me with her eyebrows raised. “Um, Christy, it did not at ALL happen like that. I didn’t get that car until I was in college and working almost full time. My first car was a $500 neon blue Pontiac Sunfire.”

This hit a nerve. How could I remember something so differently than what was true? Granted, there was nothing particularly special about my sister’s car, so it’s not something I would have necessarily filed in my brain.

There are stories running through my head 24 hours a day. I wake up in the middle of the night and write things down, but 99% of those ideas don’t turn into anything. My days are so full and there are 800 bajillion things I have to do, and so sometimes I look back at my notes and I have no idea what I meant. I found one the other day said, “Jockstrap/teenage acne”.  Uh…I have literally NO recollection of writing that or what in the world I was thinking about.

I have all these memories from my childhood, ready to come out. I have come so far in pretty much just writing all my inner demons down that I feel like this would be the next step. I know there are people out there who think I am embarrassing myself and my family by being SO honest. I truly, truly don’t care, however, because I can see my reach and how much just talking about this has helped others.

The thing is, they are going to make some of my family members look bad. And so I hesitate. I’ve never, ever wanted to hurt anyone in my family. I swear, I only want to help people. My experiences as a child are SUCH a big part of who I am today that I want to share them. But what if it was just my perception as a child and I’m remembering it completely incorrectly (Camaro vs. Pontiac Sunfire)?

On the other hand, I want everyone to own their truth and this is MY truth. And, like Ann Lamott said, I guess if you didn’t want someone to write about it on the Internet someday, you should’ve acted better, yo.


Goin’ Off the Grid


This weekend I went on my first ever writing retreat. I recently joined a group of women writer’s in my area, and we have meetings twice a month. They invited me along to this retreat right away, having only met me one time, which I thought was brave. What if I was a mouth breather? Or a one-upper? I mean, that’s not even thinking about possibilities like serial killer.

Anyway, I was thrilled to be invited, but nervous. What if one of THEM was a one-upper? Could I handle a weekend in a cabin in the woods with someone who was rude or obnoxious?

I packed my bag, cautiously, like you do when you’re going somewhere with new people. Will they judge me for drinking Diet Pepsi at 8:00 a.m.? Will they think it’s weird that my favorite pillow has Christmas trees on the pillow case?

I had signed up to bring cheese, sausage, and crackers. Suddenly, I panicked. Was boring old Colby cheese good enough? I searched until I found a pack of pre-sliced “European Cheese.” I also got the “fancy” box of crackers, i.e. anything that wasn’t Ritz.

I was joking with my friends all week that I was scared because we had rented a cabin in the middle of nowhere and it’s negative 50 bajillion degrees right now, and what if I had to walk somewhere outside of the cabin to find the bathroom? How many blankets should I bring? Should I go buy toe and hand warmers?

As it turned out, I had the BEST time, and it reminded me of a few things.

  1. Life can be better without wi-fi. I had no internet access. Not even my 3G worked. So, I could text my husband to check in on him and the kids, but otherwise, my time spent writing was actually spent…writing. Typically when I write, I write a paragraph, check Facebook. Write a paragraph, send a tweet. Write a paragraph, read an article on Yahoo about the secret vegetable that will make me skinny. It’s a terrible thing. It felt SO good to be off the grid.
  2. Sometimes, taking a risk pays off. The ladies I was with for the weekend were all phenomenal women. I wish they were also my real-life friends (in addition to all of you out there, not instead of!). We share a love for writing, but mostly it was amazing to spend quality time with a group of women who are caring, wicked smart, motivated, and hard-working. I LOVE hearing about other people’s lives, and this is twice as exciting when I meet new people. Wait a minute, you ELOPED? That is so rad! Tell me about it!
  3. I am, officially, a writer. There, I said it. I’ve been calling myself a “wanna-be” writer for a long time now. No longer. I declare, “Christy is a writer!” There were 3 copies of my book in this cabin. I kept myself busy for hours and hours with writing projects that I’m working on. I daydreamed about what it would be like to be a full-time writer. It’s for real, you guys.
  4. When you’re in a cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin in the winter, don’t talk about true crime podcasts before bed. Enough said.


I’m not recommending that you need to go out in the woods in the middle of nowhere with almost strangers, Y’all, but I do want to urge you to take some risks in 2018. Even small ones. You just never know what’ll turn up!