Only You Know the Full Story of Your Life

Signpost against blue sky divided into life sectors: health, work, friends, family, time, career.

You alone know the full story of each decade of your life.

By Maureen Santini © Copyright 2017-2018. All Rights Reserved.

If anyone had asked me to describe my grandmother, I would have said she went to church often, baked brownies when we visited, played piano by ear, and taught me to sew.  In many respects she was a typical grandmother.

Imagine my surprise when, after her death, I learned she had joined a local writers’ group in her sixties and had written several stories, many seemingly autobiographical, describing in detail life in a small lumber mill town.

I can’t say for certain that she never hinted at her writing aspirations during my childhood. If so, the hint didn’t register. The posthumous discovery of her articles was a very pleasant surprise.

You Alone Have the Full Story

Discovering new, amazing facets of those close to us isn’t unusual. Many people may know parts of specific chapters of your life. But if you’re like most people, no one but you has the full story.

Test the theory: ask a few teens to tell you everything they know about their parents as youth. Many will draw a blank.

Re-read my description of my grandmother in the first paragraph. Note that I instinctively described her from my perspective. My description unintentionally amounted to only my chapter of her full story. When she wrote about her life, her perspective was vastly different. This illuminates the problem with leaving your story to others. You are the only one with the complete story.

Begin Writing Your Story Now

There’s no right time to begin writing your life story but the sooner you begin preserving your memories, the more you are likely to recall. It is much easier to add information and memories as time progresses than to recall fading memories.

Middle age is a great time to begin. Encourage friends, siblings, parents and spouse to do the same. In fact, consider starting a life story writing circle.

Whether family members happen to be interested in your life story at any given point in time should not matter. Your life story is a legacy you are bestowing on your family and future generations.



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