For three years, I've tried to write a book about my life. This isn't because I am some egotistical maniac that thinks everyone in the world wants to know about me. Honestly, I'm fine sitting in the back keeping my mouth shut - most of the time.
The problem is, I see people going down paths I've already trod. Dangerously close to the same slippery slopes and sometimes, not always, but sometimes they just don't know better. If I say nothing, I'm a lousy human being. The worst that can happen by sharing my experiences is adding knowledge and perspective. That's always good and sometimes, it can save your life.
I'm the oldest of three kids, so I've always been raised to "be the example". Read: Guinea Pig, Culprit, Holder-of-the-Bag, One-to-be-Punished, First Try, Test Case, etc. I'm not bitter about it... much.
Anyway, this basic understanding has spilled over into the rest of my life and now that I've gotten to do some autobiographical speaking, I'm realizing it's a good thing. I can help others. All those crappy things that have happened to me aren't just wasted years of my life, therapy bills or nightmares that wake me from my tear-stained pillow. They are life-enriching experiences that have shaped me into the complex, wonderful and interesting person I am today.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.