Stacy Julian's blog
Some of you may know that I began scrapbooking shortly after my mother's sudden death in 2001. She was only 49, and I was just 30. Losing her changed who I was; it changed how I saw the world and my place in it. It was a defining event in my existence, in many ways as much as becoming a mother myself was a defining moment. Scrapbooking, for me, became a way to make sure that my daughter would know who I was outside of my role as her mother. That's something I realized I didn't know about my own mom, and I wanted to make sure that didn't happen. Scrapbooking became a way I could be sure that I was remembered, that our lives were documented, that I could say "I was here." I used scrapbooking as a way to begin healing from the grief I felt at losing my mom, and it would sustain me through other difficult periods in my life too. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't scrapbooked what really matters most to me because that's why I started this hobby. Ironic, eh?
I've been scrapbooking now for 12 years, and there are still lots of stories that I need to tell. Stories that matter. Stories that define me. Stories that define our family. Stories that I don't want to be lost or forgotten. Sometimes I think I haven't scratched the surface of my most important stories.
Why haven't I spent the last 12 years scrapbooking what really matters? At first, I think I got caught up in event style scrapbooking - holidays and vacations and birthdays and school functions, etc. My daughter was young, and I wanted to make sure I captured her childhood as it was happening. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but I realize now that I haven't told all the stories that really matter to me. Later, I think I let simply stumbling blocks stand in the way. There is pressure to tell an important story. Pressure to get the right pics. Pressure to tell it in the right way. Pressure to design it well. Pressure to be honest, even when that honesty is painful or sad.
Most practically, I struggle with not necessarily having the right pictures to tell the story. Today, I'm letting that go. I'm beginning a list of my most important stories and will continue to add to it as I think of more I want to tell. If I don't have the picture, I'm going to take a picture, find something representative on the internet, or design a layout without a picture on it. The stories must be told. I cannot risk leaving them untold any longer. I want to start on this project and set aside the fear and pressure.
Here are some of my untold stories:
Letter to my high school self Calendar girl
The Grandmothers Married at 18
Scrabble tournaments Dear Baby and Baby Hatcher
Spud the stud Indian woman in her teepee
Always in a rush Oral exams for M.A.
Where the action is Hardest decision of my life
Always the grownup My dad the practical joker
Def not Sporty Spice Letting them down, saying goodbye
Some of these are lighthearted; some are nostalgic; some are painful -- and in this format, they probably don't make sense to anyone but me. That's okay; this list is mainly for me. :0 They all matter enough that I need to scrapbook them to tell my story. I literally spent five minutes and came up with that list. How many more will I realize I need to tell once I've given it some real thought?
I'm challenging myself to make a layout this month about a story that really matters to me. Are you up for the challenge? Care to join me?
What are your most important stories? Have you told them? If not, what's holding you back?