At last: All the stuff you had no particular interest in ever knowing about me, but now have to suck it up. Or not

doug road

Autobiography? Memoirs? Journal of my life?

Who wants to read that shit?

For the last little while I have been exploring an impulse that suggested I should try to put down for posterity or something who I am and what happened to me on the way to this place in my life. Not sure why I’m doing it. I mean, I don’t have any kids who would be inclined to pore through my wisdom and perceptions. I’m also left with the thought that what right have I to bore people so? To be so arrogant? To be so vain?

The most difficult aspect of this project – well, there are actually two most difficult aspects – the first one is it’s an indication that my years are growing too advanced (for my liking, thank you); and the second is, I have to explore some aspects of my past history I should be rather thankful to leave behind, if it’s all the same to you.

bography

I am not prompted by vainglory. I am not a ‘giant’ of anything in particular. I have had my moments, to be sure. In fact I have had some delectable moments (yes, including those kinds) and I am as yet unclear on how graphic I want to be. Does one want to open one’s underwear drawer for all and sundry? Some writers do. Some writers do in a cringeworthy way leaving the reader thinking: Eww. You did that? I didn’t want to know that. So I reckon some self-censorship is demanded for the sake of others’ sensibilities; to maintain a stirling (ha!) reputation; and to not have somebody from one’s past (like wives) sue one’s ass off.

There are some high points and there are some agonizingly low points to be considered. How much in the direction of the bad stuff do I want to go? I have committed no major crimes – or even minor ones for that matter. Well once, long ago and far away and not even in this country, I ‘borrowed’ a fellow’s wife. Not proud of it; it just happened, as such things do. So, I guess I have transgressed in a Biblical sense and that may send me to Hell, but so far hasn’t sent me to prison.

Anyway, some high points: (needs a bit of fleshing out, as you can tell)

I was born in Vancouver and spent my first years in Kitsilano. The family then moved to Burnaby and that was where I spent my childhood and youth.

south

I went right through school in Burnaby: Douglas Road elementary, Kensington Jr. High; Central High, and finally Burnaby South High for senior matric. Sr. Matric was a wonderful concept that should have never been done away with. As for school, my feelings ranged from mild dislike to utter detestation.

I attended the University of BC and graduated from there, and received secondary teacher’s certification from there as well. My university experience was wonderful. The absolute opposite from what school did for me. I was in heaven and didn’t want it it to end. Also managed to pull down some decent grades as well.

Took a secondary English and history teaching position here, at GP Vanier. Did that for seven or eight years (can’t remember exactly). Loved my students and still am in touch with many whom I cherish as dear friends. But, I grew to detest the public school system and the atmosphere in any school in which rewards go to those deemed to be sitting at the ‘cool table’ (this applies to students and teachers) and the so-called coolest are too often the jocks. We all know that to be so. And finally I got fed up with it all. That said, I was a good teacher and always gave it my all. And then I moved on.DSCN0596

Ultimately I went into newspaper work. Initially I was at the Comox District Free Press (aka the Green Sheet). This was the ideal calling for me. I rose through the ranks at that wonderful and venerable paper and went from cub reporter, to columnist, to editorial writer and ultimately to assistant editor. And then they shut the goddamn wonderful thing down. I won’t go into the details as to why.

For a while I worked at the Comox Valley Echo. The Echo always tried hard to cut it in a time of competition but the whole newspaper atmosphere had changed by that point and I found it all less satisfactory and so I moved on.

I worked as an addictions counsellor for a few years and go a great deal of gratification from that needed calling.

Otherwise, and this blog is starting to get draggy, I have been married three times (the first time for 25 years; the second time, ridiculously briefly; and finally for the past 15 years. Still am.) Have also had a slew of wonderful friends (male and female) whom I cherish greatly.

– I love the tropics and am not quelled by tropic heat.

– I use endearments and that is mainly because I both feel like it with people who are special and also because I love hearing them.

– I am a hugger. Nothing to do with sex (usually) because it’s highly therapeutic. I can also guy-hug with no problem.

– I sleep badly and wake up much too early. I hate it but have come to grudgingly accept that it is my reality. But it sucks, really it does.

– I love coffee but have cut back radically (see insomnia).

– I no longer drink alcohol. I had a problematic relationship with it ultimately (some fun times before that). I don’t miss it and haven’t had a drink in nearly 18 years.

– I drive a 22-year-old Nissan NX2000 T-roof and despite its age it’s still hot little car and we shall see which one outlasts the other. I have no desire to get another car. And anyway, Wendy has a much newer one that we use for longer journeys.

And, as we used to say when a deadline had been met: That’s all she wrote.

 

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9 responses to “At last: All the stuff you had no particular interest in ever knowing about me, but now have to suck it up. Or not

  1. I was inclined to write my autobiography a few years ago – no small job since I’m in the later part of my 70’s. It wasn’t for anyone other than myself tho, and for me to reflect on my life and what I’ve learned and what I’m grateful for. And to let go of those things I wish I had done differently and forgive others and myself for the hurts I’ve caused. I kind of fell behind on the “project” writing about my life at age 30 – there are just so many darn decades! But sometimes I go back and reflect and write a little more. It’s nice to remember the people who were a positive influence and help in my life.

    Good luck with your project! Most of all, have fun with it!

    • In line with what you write they say the greatest value in doing this is perhaps finding some answers to questions that have nagged down the decades. And thank you for your well-wishes.

  2. I’ve caught the same bug you have…I hope you have a positive experience. I’m interested to see what happens.

  3. I always feel that not very many people have had an interesting enough life to write an autobiography I would want to read. One friend who used to be a nun has an interesting one. Another friend who was involved with Greenpeace, was arrested for piracy 2 times, was forest ranger at Mt. St. Helens before it blew its top, protested lots, and much more is very interesting to me. She does not look the part but she definitely has her opinions especially concerning the environment and animals!! And she is an author of 4 books, 3 guides and 1 novel.

    • I don’t know if it matters how interesting your life was in the ‘big’ picture, but mainly how you express it and what a reader might learn from your life. Your friend’s life has been much more dynamic than mine I am quite prepared to say.

  4. Have fun with that. It will not be completely true no matter how you do it, because there are some things you just can’t say. I’ve been reading you for years and I could tell you something about yourself that you would know to be true and yet never would include in your memoir.

    • Hmm. Wonder what that is? Maybe don’t tell me. Otherwise, I think we tend to self-censor and that is probably why no bio is really true. Especially an autobio.

  5. I’d never write an autobiography. I just don’t have anything interesting enough to say about myself.

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