Hello everyone! As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m opening up my blog to guest writers. It is my pleasure to be sharing this first guest post to the Scribe & Sunshine Blog written by my good friend Emerson Lee. I was thrilled when Emerson volunteered to share their story with me; I was touched (and more than slightly embarrassed) when they said they wanted to share a story about me! With much gratitude, I hope you will enjoy Emerson’s message on the importance of finding your life’s cheerleaders and sharing your story with the world.
Lauren was the first person to be a consistent, collaborative cheerleader of my words. Family members and teachers had told me that I was a “good writer” who had “potential” and other encouraging but passive statements. No one had come alongside me and cheered me on through the process from the seed of an idea to many written pages. And then I met Lauren, and suddenly I felt more confident, like I was running a race and could suddenly hear the enthusiastic cheers from a familiar voice.
When she and I were housemates living across the hall from each other, she would leave little notes on my bedroom door, inspiring me to write my book. She’d ask about what I’d written. When I was frustrated, she’d encourage me to continue.
That was ten years ago, and while I didn’t finish the book that was on my heart at that time, I still remember and feel supported by Lauren’s belief in the story that was within me. In fact, that novel has a special place in my heart and I may someday bring it into the world (with, perhaps, Lauren’s help as an editor).
But I want to tell you that you don’t have to be like me.
You can bring your unique story into the world. It’s right there, inside you, ready to spill out. It’s only a pen and a blank page (or fingers on a keyboard) away.
It can make all the difference when someone accompanies you on the journey, cheering you on every step of the way. Many people thrive with that kind of assistance, guidance, inspiration, and continual affirmation that their story matters.
And it certainly does matter. As Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” It wouldn’t be agony if it didn’t want to exist in the world. And look at this big, beautiful, vast, complex world: there’s certainly space for your story.
That’s especially true in a society that has allowed such a limited group of people to tell their stories. We need more bold and unapologetic narratives about queer, Black, Indigenous, disabled, trans, mentally ill, and neurodivergent lives—and every other variation, combination, and celebration of human life.
Your story belongs on paper, bound with a cover, and in the hands of other people who can connect with it. Or maybe it’s on a blog, or in a series of articles, or a collection of short stories. Whatever form it takes, it’s not meant to be filed away in the furthest, dustiest bookcase of the library that is your brain.
These days, I use my skill as a writer to share the message of living well with neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s. That’s where my words have found a home at this point in my life. It’s a story that I love to tell, every day, over and over. And Lauren supports me there too.
It means so much when someone believes in your message and encourages you to share it. We live in a society that often shames people for speaking their truths. Sometimes, all it takes is one small voice that says, “Fuck that.”
There’s no one who will say that with more enthusiasm than Lauren.
About Emerson Lee
Emerson Lee is the founder of Happy Memories Elder Support, LLC. They share ideas about creating meaningful moments for and with elders, especially those with cognitive impairment, on their Patreon, Instagram, workshops, and guides to creating pre-planning tools. Emerson is quite fond of flowers, bubbles, and cake.