The Growing Mind

Writing My Memoir & Emotional Growth


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Moving Forward

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(838 words – 4 min read)

The big news is now I own www.shabnamcurtis.com. I bought my own domain! And I am printing my business cards. Even though I am moving forward slowly, I am still looking forward to the day that writing is my main profession!

In this busy life we constantly have to fight to prioritize our daily plans. In our to-do lists, it is hard to give priority to the things we really enjoy doing since the daily routines scream loudly to be taken care of. My writing is what I really like to do and that is perhaps why it often ends up at the end of the list! LOL

All this said, it is certainly hard to keep up with updating my blog, but in this battle I try to avoid blaming myself. 🙂

Although I have been writing gradually and steadily, I still need to motivate myself to write every time I can squeeze it in. Motivating myself or may be even more accurately inspiring myself is a very important part of the process. As much as I love writing, the responsibilities of daily life conspire against my plans. Every time I sit to write I need to start with inspiring myself. One of my inspirations is listening to “Magic Lessons Podcast” by Liz Gilbert. Listening to how she pinpoints the exact issue an artist needs to focus on for encouragement has been very influential to me.

This time I was listening to “Who Gets To Decide Whether You’re A Legitimate Artist?”. It was very touching and awakening. From this podcast I learned you don’t need an academic degree in Art to be an artist. You can reach out and “create” a community to share your creativity, get feedback, and observe the creativity of others.

Thanks to a wonderful friend sharing an amazing TED talk, my husband and I were listening to the second most popular TED talk presented by Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy and my husband knowing my passion says you should have become a Social Psychologist. You love this area of science. Social Psychology has always been a very exciting subject to me and I always wanted to go back to school for it. That has been a dream for me though I cannot pursue it professionally at this point of my life. Listening to Liz’s podcast, I learned I do not need a PhD in Social Psychology to fulfill my passion. In order to become a writer I can use my understanding of Social Psychology to interpret people’s life events and turn them into stories. My interest in Social Psychology beautifully complements my love for writing.  

I believe strengthening my knowledge of Social Psychology and using it in my writing is the way to fulfill these passions; it is just a matter of maintaining the pursuit and keeping it high on my priority list.

Trying hard to make time for it and with all the inspiration around me, I always look forward to my writing time. As joyful as writing is, turning painful memories into words on a page is sometimes hard to deal with. During the past few weeks I have had many different feelings. Writing about my experience with war as a child and how my feelings were repressed while living under a theocracy was painful. I cried while I wrote these passages. Writing about my second marriage reminded me how I let myself become a victim. It still makes me feel shameful. Writing how hard we worked as a family to bring my daughter to the U.S made me feel appreciative of my family support. Writing about that one huge moment in my life while I watched my daughter finally obtain the visa in the U.S embassy made me cry with pride. Last but not least putting all these pieces of the story together and seeing this big beautiful picture as the outcome fills me with joy.

All the painful events were opportunities for growth. I needed them to teach me the lessons to create the story of my life. I now love this story! This reminds me of Brene Brown’s story of falling and rising in her book “Rising Strong”. I can’t say how beautiful it is when I see how and how many times people are capable of rising strong.

Speaking of rising strong, during the past couple of weeks, I also finished two very good books ; “Drinking: A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp and “The Story of my Life” by Helen Keller. These two ladies are role models of how to rise strong. It is amazing to understand how Caroline Knapp conquered her drinking habit and how Helen Keller overcame some of the utmost disabilities that any human might easily give up on.

We all have habits that need to change and limitations to overcome. I read how these two brave people got rid of the hardwired habit or overcame the limitations under some of the hardest circumstances of life. I believe we can do it too!

Celebrate life!

Shabnam
Editing Credit: M. Curtis