Chapter One: Part Two
All stories have a beginning, middle, and an end.
How strange life is that I find myself back at what feels like a brand-new missing chapter within my own life story: a missing chapter removed from the final version, a cherished deleted scene. It’s funny when a sequel is better than the original (hard to imagine, I know!)
The original first Chapters 1 through 16 contained very little in the way of heart-warming happiness. The joy can always be found blowing the dust off these sections, and looking back (but more importantly, forward), I find myself replacing these experiences by putting them back on the shelf where they belong. They are similar to what you might find in everyone’s tale, but other things I’ve written you wouldn’t even think possible. They are so far-fetched and etched in scars upon my heart. Of course, I wish these chapters could have been penned with the finesse and magic of Roald Dahl rather than read like direct excerpts from a Bram Stoker classic.
The middle ages and chapters were all about shaping, polishing, and preparing for the evolution of me: a diamond in the rough finding its own sparkle—and shining bright from achievement through adversity. I was making my way in this strange and compelling novel. I was working my way through the rewrites, edits, and changes. Now, I realize so clearly that I am the narrator and author of this story: I own these moments of pain, poverty, and grief, and I will not allow them to break me.
Chapter 38 contained some of the best and worst excerpts of my novel: I recently and tragically lost my mother the day before my son was born. Numbers have always been prevalent and significant in my life. My birthday is March 27, my mother passed on March 28, and my sister and son both share the same birthday: March 29. I live for my son and in him, as does my sister. My son has her infectious laugh, piercing eyes, and a smile that lights up the whole world.
Chapter 39 is the chapter that tried its best to break me. This chapter is the most painful to read, and even writing it is a task that is difficult. I find myself unable and unwilling to re-live these events any more than once. The only way I can process this chapter is to omit it completely from the book: tear it up and burn it! Instead, I am replacing it with new paragraphs of happiness, joy, and experiences I am determined to achieve.
Chapter 40 is fast approaching. They say life begins at this age, a concept that has always perplexed me until now. As I steer towards it in anticipation, I embrace the additional wisdom.
Whatever your story is, tell it, share it, live it, and know you have the power to rewrite your own future, sentence by sentence. The power really is in your hands. I am ready, and a much stronger character for Chapter One: Part Two. Bring it!