"Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense." - Mark Twain
Every now and then when I reflect on my life, I shake my head and think that it has often been stranger than fiction. I like to joke with my close friends that it indeed has been like a Lifetime movie. Most people who don't know my many stories and the deep lows in my life, those who see the smile I try to keep mapped on my face, think I live or have lived a charmed life. Although I have had so much joy, abundant blessings, and too many good times to count, there have also been tumultuous times too, times when I fell to my knees and wondered why, times when I felt helpless and tormented, times that were stranger than fiction that I'm glad I never shied from writing about.
I don't mind writing about my stranger than fiction life because I know that the majority of us haven't lived an idyllic life behind a white picket fence. Many of us have had to trudge through the jungle, cutting through thick briar, pulling out prickly thorns along the way during too many seasons in our life. So many of us have been tested beyond what we thought was humanly possible and wished it was a nightmare we could wake up from. But in the midst of that we still had the conviction and determination to emerge from our dark cocoon. We still met the sun and said I'm no longer afraid of you and what you may bring forth, even in our memories, and write.
When we write about those stranger than fiction occurrences that have happened in our life, we become audacious enough to no longer let anything shame us, make us feel less worthy, or make us feel as if we will never rise above our problems or heal from them. We also gift others who are carrying that same pain, words that can comfort and cushion them with peace once we divulge the lessons or renewal that came about because of those stranger than fiction life experiences.
So whether your stranger than fiction story is outlandish, embarrassing, hilarious, sorrowful, or traumatizing, don't be timid when it comes to telling it. Tell it in a way you deem most comfortable in telling, with no holds barred, in technicolor, or in slivers if it is too painful to your spirit to write certain details. Tell it as an essay or a fiction story. Tell it in a novel or as a self help book. Tell it as a children's story so that parents and teachers and children can start having those tough conversations about difficult topics. Tell it so your readers can see how your stranger than fiction life didn't thwart your strength, hope, laughter, or desire to follow your dreams.
Yes...it takes a lot emotionally to tell some of our stories. We may have to go through a whole box of Kleenex or two to write one paragraph, or take frequent breaks, or even get a loved one to hold our free hand as we use our writing hand to peck at our laptop or computer keys, but don't let that stop you from writing your strange truth in all of its multifaceted complexing layers.
Life may indeed seem stranger than fiction, but you're still waking up each morning and living it just like I am, bandaging the pricks from the briar along the way, still trudging on determined not to let anything stop you...so why not write about it.