A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Working Years: Out on Our Own

The life stages (beach picture, beach scene in...
The life stages (beach picture, beach scene in Wiek) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
           This post is the third in the series The Stages of Life for the Purpose of Memoir.   In the introductory post I suggested that life can be broken down into four major stages when writing memoirs.  So far we have looked at Memories of Baby Life:  Do We Have Accurate Recall? and School Days: Building Who We Are.  You can click on the three links to read these posts if you missed them.

Leaving Home

          Whether we go on to work after high school or defer work to go to college first, most of us at some point will cut our ties with living in our parental home and move on to a life on our own.  These are typically the years of work.   Many of us will go on into relationships with others and often that will result in marriage and families as we become responsible for raising our own children.   No longer seen so much as children of our parents, we now have our own identities with new roles in which others see us.

           Leaving home often begins with going away to college, doing a stint in the military, or some adventure that is a preliminary step to our career life.  The adjustment of setting out on one's own can provide fine material for memoir.  These can be humorous times or periods of doubt, fear, and angst.   Whichever way we look at this transition stage, it can be a time filled with love, loss, and learning.  This part of our life is often a great story that we can share in order to help or entertain others and provide lessons in life to others who may need them for their own growth or to understand their own past.

Revealing Our Identity

         Eventually we enter into that period of life that most identifies who we are as others see us.   We may enter into the careers that bring us recognition in the circles of those who know us.  Our stories of how we made it in life and what we accomplished can be very interesting to others.  Those stories may consist of success or failures, but with the memoir we should be able to use the important experiences to help bring revelation to those who hear our tales.  Anecdotes about our working careers can teach others or stir emotions within them.   For many of us our jobs define who we are and give us a big part of our life stories.

         The current generation is not as rooted as previous generations when it comes to career.  Some of us may have worn many hats in our working life as we've hopped from job to job.  There are many stories in this scenario.  A memoir of work life can be many things and portrayed in many ways.  Whether the memoirist is attempting to entertain with humor or teach with instruction or whatever else, a mixed job bag can be like a diamond mine of writing possibilities.

         Adult life is not all work.  There can be stories of love, struggles with health, political involvement, parenting--you fill in your own blanks.  What was most significant during your most active adult years?   You may have a special story that you need to tell about those years.  Or you may have many stories.  The stories are there when you start digging for them and they all have the potential to be interesting.

           Do you think that our work is generally what most defines who we are?   What are some kinds of  stories that you think could be most helpful to others?    Can you think of examples of inspirational stories of working, parenting, or other aspects of adult life?    Do you prefer a memoir that is humorous, uplifting, or educational?

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  1. Does our work define who we are? It can, but it doesn't have to. I was a waitress for 11 years, but "waitress" would be low on the list of words I would use to define who I was at that time. Even now, as a bookseller, my day job comes closer to defining me, but I think I'm far more defined by the fact that I write, that I'm a parent, that I daydream, etc.

  2. Kelly -- You are so right. I would prefer to think that my work complements who I am or defines a part of me as you suggest with the various roles we take on. The sad fact is that there are those who are almost completely defined by a job, a parental role, or their own notoriety. We are all many things but sometimes become confined to that for which we are most visible.


  3. Hey Lee, my job doesn't define at all who I am. It's just a job. I do it because I need money, lol! I would rather get paid to do something I love, but I think that's everybody's story.
    Years ago I think it was more common for someone to get a job right out of high school, or college, and keep that job forever. Now that's not such a popular idea.
    As for a memoir, I would prefer one that is humourous and uplifting.
    Hey, 'Anonymous' has been harassing me as well! We need to do something about that guy!

  4. Dear Lee, even though I'm writing an on-line memoir, I really don't read memoirs. That is, the books. Many of the blogs I follow seem like memoirs to me.

    I still haven't concluded from my writing what I want a printed memoir to be--my growing up or my convent years or my years of trying to work for social justice. That's a decision I leave to the future!

    Thanks for this series. I've been away from reading and commenting on blogs for nearly seven weeks, so it was good to return and discover the series was going on and that I'd commented all those weeks ago on the first stage of your memoir-writing series. Peace.

  5. Eve -- Job status and security has changed much from previous generations. A lot probably has to do with our attitudes and the positions we hold. I always found a certain amount of pride in my management jobs I held and the type of work I did when I was in the entertainment business. For a few other jobs they were just jobs to pay the bills.

    Dee -- You don't have to stick with any one life stage. You can always write more than one memoir. There are many who have done just that. A lot probably has to do with the message you are trying to convey and different stages of life can have different lessons to teach.


  6. Dear Arleen, I'm thinking maybe two memoirs, but not certain. Peace.

  7. Lee I find your blog posts on this topic thought-provoking. I've been a workaholic at many times in my life, but is it how I'd define myself...I don't know. Certainly where I was, and what I was doing, and trying to achieve was important to me but only a part of the whole me. Much to think about.


Tell your story. Express your thoughts. We want to hear from you. This blog no longer accepts comments from "Anonymous"--That guy is really starting to bug this blog. If you want to leave me a comment then please register if you aren't already--it's easy to do and I really want to hear from you.

Arlee Bird