Discover more from By Fernanda Santos
Building and rebuilding
The practice of everyday improvement
The holiday cards are beginning to land in the mail, a reminder that I am remembered and also that I forgot (again) to plan for holiday cards. This has been a year of disruption and change (again) for my child and me, when we (again) cut the chains that bound us to people and places that had lost their meaning. In uprooting our lives and rerouting our journey, we claimed our freedom to choose — and we (again) chose joy.
I’m making my way through the sixth draft of the memoir I’m writing, a process that has tested my patience and challenged my humility; more than once, I’ve had to accept that even something I and others thought was very good can still be improved. I’m grateful to the four friends who took time to read and make thoughtful comments on my story and also to my agent, CeCe Lyra, who continues to show me how and where I can do better, trusting that I will do better. Often, that’s all we need to keep on going: someone who believes in us.
Memoir is an exercise in surrender. In revisiting and reliving my story, I’ve learned to embrace the people and experiences in my past as the blocks I’ve used to build the person I am today.
Every day, people and experiences present themselves anew. It’s on us to take these blocks and build — or rebuild — something better than what we built the day before. We don’t need a new year, or the pressure of New Year’s resolutions, to do that.
With love and purpose,