A lovely friend asked if I had photos of our school days I could take with me next time I visited her. On searching, there wasn’t that much to show, but I did stumble across a 2-volume autobiography I’d written at the tender age of 12. I clearly had a lot to say.
So on a beautiful summer evening in my friend’s back garden, amongst a group of wonderful people, I took out the exercise books containing my early life story. I never intended anyone to read it … merely to cause a laugh at my precociousness and dire literary talents (non-existent, I assure you). And laugh we did – at the sentences littered with exclamation marks (the mark of an enthusiastic, but perhaps misguided, writer), how I’d somehow crafted a whole chapter about the furniture in my bedroom, and the pages I’d written along themes of … life is so hard …, I’m SO busy …., look how interesting I am! (Necessary exclamation mark.)
But today, we still talk about my autobiography. For amongst our group, and for every single person, it seemed to evoke good memories of individual childhoods. It sparked a conversation about a friend’s parent who had died too young, about a favourite brother, about low confidence and doubt and fear … and also memories of many happy times that we were each suddenly reminded of.
You might not have an autobiography. But maybe you have something equally as good that can encourage others to share what’s on their mind? It’s good to talk.