Friday, February 11, 2011

Keeping Secrets

The finished manuscript of Glass Houses is now in the hands of more than fifty people. Every few days I receive a super sweet e-mail from another friend who just finished reading my first book. To say I'm touched would be a huge understatement.

I'm amazed, humbled, and elated all at the same time. Being friends, colleagues and family members, these early readers are a friendly crowd. Still, the positive feedback has been deeply gratifying.

Some have shared bits and pieces about struggles and challenges they faced growing up. Everyone has a story to tell about living with a "great curse". If I wasn't gay it would have been something else. Parents mess their kids up in unintended ways. We all struggle with personal battles. Some battles are more public but we all struggle with something.

In Glass Houses I reveal my struggles, my bad decisions, and my soul. Acquaintances who read the book have become dear friends. Until they write their own memoir, they know me quite a lot better than I know them but I'm working on it.

Life-long friends and family members feel like they abandoned me and tell me they had no idea. Of course they didn't. Until now I didn't want them to know.

Every story is about the resilience of the human spirit. People deal with stuff every day a hundred times worse than anything I ever experienced. They live next door to you, stand in line with you at the grocery story, attend your church, send their children to school with your children and believe they are entirely alone with their struggle.

There's nothing new under the sun. We all struggle. Sharing may not change your circumstances but it will certainly let you know you're not alone. Any fight is easier with a crowd backing you up.

Some people believe in keeping secrets. I'm sure some things are better left deep in the back of the closet. But most the time, shining a bright light in the darkest corners will be more likely to help than hurt. So far it has worked that way for...

The Crotchety Old Man

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

You are so right in your comments about each of us in life...I have thought about what you've written and not sure I would be able to do the same because as a child of a Career Naval Officer, I have fleeting memories and not sure if I could write a memoir of my life. I commend and love that you allowed me to share in reading your memoir.

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