When my son was four I asked him why he liked the New York Mets so much. His answer?
“They wear the same hat as Daddy.”
We do see things from our own special lens when we’re young. Mommy and Daddy are just about perfect. The world revolves around us, adores us, and even – apparently – dresses like us.
Then the teen years hit. A DC-area friend of mine became a dedicated Dallas Cowboys follower when he was in middle school. Why? His father couldn’t stop raving about the Washington Redskins. Signing on as a Dallas fan was my rebellious friend’s solution.
As we mature, our lens matures along with us, slowly shifting and refocusing to reflect a more realistic view of ourselves, our family, and our world. While we’ll never be truly objective witnesses in our own lives, wisdom and experience bring us perspective and understanding that we don’t possess when we’re younger.
When you write your life story, tap into the wisdom you’ve gleaned in your years on this planet. Your parents weren’t the flawless creatures you believed they were when you were four, but they likely weren’t the monsters you professed when you were 14 either.
It takes years of detachment before you can write fairly about key moments from your life. Your vision may be foggier today than it was in your youth, but, trust me, your perspective is far clearer. You can tell your story – the truth of your story – now better than you ever could before.