Updated: May 14, 2021
Writing a memoir was a bit like circumambulating the country. The prospect of writing a book proved just as daunting as the thought of walking 10,000 miles. But when one approaches such tasks one mile and one sentence at a time, the insurmountable becomes imaginable. So I imagined my memoir one step at a time.
Editing my Life's Plans
I began by writing stories from my Happiness Walk that flooded my mind. There was no cohesion in what I scribbled nor did I know what direction I wanted to head. But the writing was cathartic. It eased my transition from a nomadic lifestyle of several years into an unsuspecting sedentary one. I could not predict a worldwide pandemic would keep me from my plans to continue walking. My next anticipated adventure involved trekking the Camino de Santiago from France to the western coast of Northern Spain and down to Lisbon, Portugal. That was not to be. So I settled into writing. And very surprisingly to me, I loved it!
Several pounds heavier and a sizable appreciation for authors later, I emerged from the winter of 2020 with a book I never intended to write. While I began recounting stories about the Happiness Walk project with my experiences on the road as the backdrop, somewhat shockingly this book became more about my life’s journey with the Happiness Walk as my backdrop. Admittedly, I had several decades of grooming that drew me to the Walk so this is what I reluctantly share in 18 Pair of Shoes.
It is a humble and vulnerable thing to display oneself so nakedly. My expert writing coach, Joni Praded, nudged me ever so more to reveal myself to my readers. I resisted as one offered a poisoned tea. That just isn't me. Ask any of my friends who constantly joke about my tentativeness while talking about myself. And here you have it...an entire book!
If I've learned anything these past years, it is you never know what's around the bend or over the hill. The miles I put into this memoir affirm that a map is only a tool with which to make plans. It does not concede any truths about the your final destination. I chose to follow a road that led me to this book. I hope you enjoy the hills and the bends as much as I did.