LOOK AT THOSE MOUNTAINS.
I mean, seriously. Really look at that photo. Do you think it was taken by a pro that travels the world looking for the most breathtaking and remote views they can discover? Nope. I took that photo… from my childhood bus stop. That is the view I grew up with. I visited my childhood home for the first time in more than 20 years in June and got to re-discover that view from my current perspective. My daughter and sister-in-law joined my Mom and both by brothers in saying a final goodbye to the property we grew up on and to lay our dad’s ashes to rest at his favorite place in the world. It was an epic journey and eventually I’ll be ready to share about it.
We moved to Homer, Alaska from Maui when I was about 7. I was super pissed we left paradise to move to the ACTUAL END OF THE ROAD. There were only a couple of miles between our property on East End Road and the furthest point that can be driven on the U.S. Highway system. Not only did we move to a place that was the opposite of Maui, but we didn’t even have a house to live in. We built our cabin by hand (I stripped those logs with my own 8 year old hands with a freaking bark stripping knife!). We didn’t have electricity until I was 12, and never had running water or indoor plumbing. We lived a subsistence lifestyle, which means the majority of our food and supplies came from growing it, hunting, fishing for it ourselves, or bartering with others.
The cabin I grew up in. From the left: Kelly, our Dad, me at about 13 and Thomas.
What is truth?
The circumstances that lead to us leaving Maui is a whole big crazy story including a shot gun under our couch cushions, boxes of cash and cocaine in the closet and an accidental death. I’m not telling that one right now because when I was in Alaska I found out the version I’ve believed may not actually be true. Hearing that rocked me to my core and led me to ask myself “What the fuck is truth? What the hell is memory? If THIS story is NOT ACTUALLY TRUE THAN ARE ANY OF THEM!?” I’m still unraveling that thought; where it’s led me so far is the understanding that my life story is just *based* on a true story.
Actually, I’m relieved.
I’ve resisted telling many of my stories publicly because I don’t want to get the “facts” wrong. Now that I understand it is not based on “facts” or “truth” but is based on imperfect memories, I can relax. I love telling stories, and the response I often receive is “Wow, that’s some crazy shit. You need to write a book.” Nah, I don’t want to write a book right now. Instead, I’ll make a video series. Here is episode 1 of “Based on a True Story” where I share what my Grandma, multiple incidents of mortal danger, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and outhouses have to do with me getting into college.
What about you? What stories have you believed to be true? Can you consider that they are actually *based* on a true story instead of actual fact? How does that affect your perspective?
I love you fiercely,
P.S. Join the Journey 100s of women and I have been on. We begin July 22nd!