I found myself on a press trip to the Yucatan Peninsula this past November. I came in a day late, as I stopped into Fort Wayne, Indiana for the premiere of my movie The Baby Pact on the way in. So, I was a day late in meeting my group and was thrown into the ring of journalists on the second day without much in the way of a formal introduction. Most of my group was kind, excited to be traveling after the almost two-years of COVID closures, and optimistic. But then, there’s always those few people who are grumpy, unenthusiastic, or dare I say… bitter.
When asked how I started writing and what I do, I explained to my group that my memoir had given me the confidence to realize that I am a writer. I was immediately stopped by a journalist who laughed and replied, “You’re very young. You have a memoir? What would you even have to write about in a memoir? It’s not like you could have even experienced anything yet.”
This, of course, unleashed the floodgates of questions and comments I had in my mind, which I respectfully held back in that moment. Then, I felt sad for this person. This person is supposed to be a seasoned journalist, a writer, yet they aren’t capable of seeing that there are stories all around them. Everyone has a story. That’s what makes this world so interesting. That’s what gives me fuel and motivation as a writer. Every person has a story. Every place has a story. As a journalist, it’s up to us to decide which stories to tell. How could this person not see that? For her to think that people don’t have stories is counterproductive and seems like a slight to the journalist’s name.
In my own life alone, I had a very trying childhood that would make for one heck of a story. Just by living out my teenage years, I was experiencing a tale that many could never dream of. Then, in my twenties, I DID write a memoir about the modeling world I found myself thrown into. And now, I find myself struggling to focus on which story to tell next as I lay the groundwork for multiple books. I see people around me in my daily life fighting battles that no one knows. Just because there are so many of us and so many stories to tell doesn’t take away that they exist. Some people just have the flare to tell them while others keep them private. And as writers, we can provide an outlet to get just a small number of these stories told.
I guess it just shook me how blind some people can be. And it made me sad. But then again, it also motivated me. We all have stories to tell, and I’m going to do my best to tell the ones I can.