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Personal Essay

Essay by   •  December 10, 2010  •  2,860 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,460 Views

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Of all the forms of literature, the most interesting might be the fairytales, or the science fiction thriller about robots. However, there lacks the sense of truth, in a way blocking the reader from true connection with the story. Memoir is real, memoir is true, and memoir can range from any end of the ocean in structure and theme.

I think there are many reasons why I like first person narratives. For one, most of the noteworthy personal essays are written by famous personal essay authors. I think reading a personal essay is like having a deep conversation with someone. I am reminded of the drunken heart to hearts I had in high school with fellow friends out on the ranch. A personal essay is a story filled with feelings, sounds, comparisons, parallel to me, parallel to everyone somehow.

Sitting down at a computer wondering why a personal essay is so popular, thinking about the other essays I have written and read, using that as a setup for a personal essay describing me, don't start at alarm.

It is Monday afternoon, one of the longest days of the week for me. I always plan to do so many things on Sundays it seems, but it also seems I lounge all day or watch reruns of the television show box sets from two years ago. Sundays are hard, they are blinded by hangovers and smelly kitchens filled with empty pots and cans and bottles, forcing me to get takeout and put off responsibility until Monday. Today my alarm went off so early in the morning it took me five whole minutes to actually realize it was not part of a dream. I had an agenda for the day, a few papers, one for creative writing, a personally essay. Something I remembered was to never start at the alarm, but begin in the middle.

Writing a personal essay is tough for me, especially after reading the various famous author experiences that seem to have so much more uniqueness to them than anything I have ever experienced. But then again the best writers seem to be able to make everything seem perfectly real, perfectly unique, and personal. The reality of the memoirs is touchable, smellable, causing the hairs to rise on my forearms. At the same time, it sparks my brain with a memory that seems similar. Although I may not have a huge piece of my jaw removed from my face, but I have insecurities and obsessions with appearances. A personal essay draws out the personal pieces of all of us, throwing them back in our faces like a backboard on a tennis court. I read about the popular girls in manhattan, and I can see them, I know them personally. I am not really friends with them but I would like to, just from reading the paper. In a modern world full of diversity and cultural differences, the memoir is something that remains true and relatable for everyone.

Memory is universal, everyone has it and everyone has certain things that are full of memory and others that are pushed aside. Sometimes I read a great personal essay and a hidden memory resurfaces. When I read about her face, I thought of my sister for some reason. When we were in elementary school I made her take me roller blading, except she wasn't very athletic like I was, she was the reader, the music collector, and she was beautiful. Tall, thin, popular, I thought it was so cool that I knew what older kids were up to, she was five years older than me. But when we went down the hill, she fell onto a sprinkler head that was about two feet tall, sticking up out of the ivy like a sword. It sliced her leg from the knee to her waiste. Her screams scared me, the blood was thick and I saw it trickle like lava down her thin thighs. It was even worse than if it had happened to me, for she was scarred. Her scar was my fault, the cool older sister who I was convinced would become a model had about thirty stitches in her thigh. She was contaminated. And then I remember I hid on our living room sofa underneath huge pillows until the dinner hour, pretending to have run away to try to convince everyone I was really upset. But no one came looking. All the time she spent entertaining her little brother even though she hated teather ball, and complained when her hands had a small film of suit from the basketball before carpool picked me up. I think of how she calls me now, crying out for some brotherly love. But she has distanced herself from the family and its awkward when I say, "love you," upon ending the conversation. All of this from reading a strong essay.

Another relative point of personal essays is the simple descriptions of timeless aspects of the world. Computers come and go, but the feeling you have when your dream girlfriend brings her new guy to the ritual Thursday night bar, that's a feeling we all have had. And those are the things a memoir provides me as the reader. And we are in the point of history where people have been free, allowed to experience anything, or forced to enter war.

I begin to consider an essay I wrote earlier about my abs. Then a photo of my family, and then an essay I tried to write on quitting tennis yet never really spent enough energy for fear that I would get emotional. I consider an essay for today that is revealing of personal essays simultaneously revealing about me. Every time I got a paper back, it had a small part of each essay that was circled, indicating that the real topic of my paper was not elaborated enough on. What was wrong with my writing?

I wrote everything that was true, but my feelings were smothered by strong words and arrogance. Personal essays point out the flaws, everyone can read about each others flaws, but writing about my flaws is quite the opposite of reading about an author's obsession with his various body parts. My words are my clothes, they are my sunglasses, they are my ipod. They are confusing, indirect and influenced by public opinion.

My best friend since high school was diagnosed with cancer last Wednesday, and goddamnit I want to just cry, I want someone to ask me if I'm ok, or If I want to talk. My roommate attempted suicide the other day because his girlfriend cheated on him, and I remember one time last year I agreed with my macho roommate that it was lame for people to survive suicide attempts, as if they were too weak to finish the job. There is no truth in that, I don't think that, I said that, I am insecure. I am in search of answers to questions that I don't want to ask anyone. I want to know if I am going to get my proper inheritance. I read the word inheritance in another piece and wondered, wow she must be very secure with herself; I had never spoken of such a concept because it seemed too personal, plus it can piss people off who make assumptions that you are a little rich kid with more opportunity than the rest of

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