This writing prompt was inspired by the writer Masha Gessen. In her article To Be or Not to Be in the New York Review of Books she quotes Suketu Mehta, in his book Maximum City:
“Each person’s life is dominated by a central event, which shapes and distorts everything that comes after it and, in retrospect, everything that came before. For me, it was going to live in America at the age of fourteen. It’s a difficult age at which to change countries. You haven’t quite finished growing up where you were and you’re never well in your skin in the one you’re moving to.”
I can think of a few personal events that shaped me in ways I did not understand until much later. At the age of 15, I was a foreign exchange student to Japan for a month. At a time when I was constantly being told how to act, behave, the right way, the wrong way I went to another culture with a strong, (perhaps even stronger) culture and society thousands of years old. It became clear to me over time that there is no one way of doing things, and that one culture’s right is another’s wrong. Realizing that cultural mores and structures are not definitive I became more of a free thinker and quick to understand that there are very few cultural truths. This echoed through my life and my decision to study anthropology in college and to try to understand human motivations through writing.
Writing Prompt: What do you consider to be your central event? How does it share and distort your previous experiences, and inform your present thinking?
Join the MemoirClass Writing Community to learn, post and share: https://memoirclass.mn.co.