Another Legacy, 4.19

Bloganuary Daily Prompt for January 30, 2023: What would you title the chapters of your autobiography?

From Nicki Flores’ Journal

My publisher asked me the other day if I would consider writing an autobiography. My collections of short stories have been selling well, and I’ve also published a few fitness and motivational books. The publisher thinks my readers would enjoy learning more about “The Nicki behind the Nicolette.”

But I’m so young. Autobiographies should be written once one knows their life’s voyage, looking back with the wisdom of what one’s learned along the way, and I’m still looking forward.

However, with the rain falling outside the studio window, and music from my high school prom playing on the little souvenir juke-box, I’m feeling nostalgic.

Looking back, how would I organize my life so far into chapters?

Prelude: The Before

I don’t think about the time before Dad adopted me. I know those memories are there, and sometimes they come to me in waves of sense-memories. Someday, I may need to unpack them, and I suppose if I ever actually did write an autobiography, I’d do that. But for right now, I’m content to leave them in a box tied up with a big black ribbon and labeled “Before.” I pretend that this time doesn’t count.

Chapter 1: Home

This is when my life began, the moment Dad said to me that he, too, felt overwhelmed looking out of the window in the foyer of our apartment.

“So high up!”

I had a home. My dad chose me.

And that’s set the tone for the rest of my life.

Chapter 2: Growing Up in the City

I loved being a city girl. I had free-run of our district, a safe village full of friends and neighbors, always looking out for us little kids. That’s where I met Asuka.

Sometimes we talk about moving back there. I’m not sure we will, knowing how life seems to move forward, rather than circle back. But you never know! Magdalena is getting pretty serious with her music, and the city offers opportunities for classical pianists that aren’t found in Sulani.

At any rate, my city life would deserve a chapter.

Chapter 3: Coming of Age in Copperdale

Crushes, awkward moments, long hours running on wooded paths and sandy beaches, playing football, studying, taking tests, dreaming and planning for the future: those years in Copperdale were when I transitioned from being a kid with no cares to a young adult ready for the world. I made so many plans!

They didn’t all work out, but the seeds for my current life were set during those important years.

That was when Grandma passed, too, and I learned that her presence will always be part of my life.

Chapter 4: Not a Super Star

Somehow, my dreams always included me becoming a super star athlete in college, then a professional athlete, then marrying Kaito and settling down in the city to raise our own kids and adopt a few others.

I never really made this dream explicit, but it was there, in the back of my mind, all through high school.

College brought reality.

You can play well, but if you’re on a losing team, you won’t become a super star. The recruiters never called.

The guy you have a crush on can be gorgeous and make your heart flutter, but if he’s not a supportive friend, it might not be worth pursuing an actual relationship.

But if some dreams wither, others flourish.

Music, art, writing, and Asuka took the place of sports and Kaito.

It still hurts when dreams die–and it feels like bliss when new dreams rise.

Chapter 5: Island Life

Our little house on our own tiny island, my writing studio, the star-filled night sky, palm trees, sand, the whispers of waves, the rhythms of tides, and the breeze–that salty, soothing island breeze!

I never could have dreamed this because I didn’t know this existed.

Yet this! This is life.

This is where I feel so alive, so in harmony, so connected with family, friends, my creative life!

I’ve been able to write. I have time for painting and music.

And Dad is the happiest he’s ever been in his life.

Chapter 6: Open Your Eyes

It was adopting Magdalena that has showed me that there is so much more to life–and death–than what we see with our normal eyes.

Some individuals, like Magdalena, have heightened perception.

And, perhaps, all of us can learn to see, in the right circumstances or if we find a way to release our preconceived notions. Or if we are able to truly listen to the gifted sighted amongst us.

Becoming Magdalena’s mom has changed me.

I wanted to give her a home because she needed one, and we had one to share.

And what I’ve discovered is that she is the one to introduce me to so much more than I ever dreamed was possible.

Now, I don’t know if I would include this in an actual biography. Some things carry such power that you want to keep them for yourselves, and sharing them might backfire.

But this is my journal. This is me casting my mind back through the journey of my life so far, a life that feels it’s just begun, in all its possibilities, and any chapter list would be incomplete without including the miracles and mysteries.

I can’t wait to discover what’s yet to come!

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