Why Susan is Determined to Write a Memoir

Profound Journey tribe member Susan Millard answered the 25 Not-Too-Scary Life Questions Worth Asking Yourself last October. In her responses, she said that the phoenix was her favourite image because she, like the phoenix, has emerged from the fire of difficult challenges into a shiny new future. Today, Susan takes up 12 of my recently posted 25 Slightly Scary Deep Questions Worth Asking Yourself. As you will see from her answers, Β insights from various life experiences have Susan continuing to embrace the meaning of the phoenix–rebirth, renewal, and a deep understanding of life events.

Question #1 – What trip have you taken that had a huge impact on you?

There were two trips actually. The first was to Scotland when I was young. I still remember the fields of purple heather, and the close where my aunt and uncle lived. I was stung by a bee sitting on the coal box outside the door. My uncle cured the sting with Nivea Cream.

I remember hot buttered scones, Pink Panther chocolate bars, and Jubilees which is frozen pop. I have a clear picture in my head of the midden we picked through to see if there was any interesting junk people threw out.

You could say that my trip to Scotland had a huge impact on me given that I remember all of this, and more, from a trip that took place 45 years ago.

The second trip was to Newfoundland, many years later, for my third wedding anniversary. The pace of life is slower in Newfoundland and time seemed to stretch on forever. We were there two weeks and it seemed like a month!

I guess you could say I had an epiphany in Newfoundland because that trip precipitated a drastic change in my way of doing things.Β I realized that everything would get done in its own time. There was nothing urgent that was worth missing out on life for. I did some serious thinking while there and reorganized my priorities in life. I decided to enjoy life not rush through it, and arrive at the end all worn out and looking back on nothing but a huge blur.

Question #3 – What would you do if you could not fail?

I think I would be a doctor. All things medical fascinate me, and doing research on diseases and conditions is right up my alley.

I did a correspondence course and gained a diploma recognizing my achievement as a Retail Pharmacy Technician with Highest Honours.

A medical doctor Β I saw for ten years worth of therapy appointments was amazed at how much I knew without going to medical school, and often said so.silhouette of joyful woman on beach with full sun behind her

Question #4 – When did you last laugh so much that it hurt?

Sadly, too long ago to remember.

Question #5 – What can you never imagine buying?

A Mini Cooper. I love those little cars, the body style, and even the iconic paint schemes. However, I cannot imagine paying what they want for one. It is, after all, just a car that will take me from point A to point B. I am frugal, for the most part, and try to get the maximum value out of every purchase. Maybe if I won the lottery, I would splurge and buy a Mini Cooper but otherwise, no.

Question #6 – If you were writing a book, what would it be about?

This is another question that asks for just one answer, but I need to mention two.

I will write my memoir about struggle, adversity, and the growth that can come out of that. I am actively working on that book at the moment by writing down memories in no particular order.

The second book I would like to write will be a work of fiction. I feel like there is a story in me that needs to be told aside from my memoir. The memoir must come first though. I need to do that one now so that if there is only one book in me, I will get the important one done first.

As the legend goes, when the phoenix resurrects from the flames, she is even more beautiful than before.

Danielle LaPorte

Question #7 – What is your body telling you?

This was a great question! Right now my body is telling me that I didn’t get enough sleep. My eyes keep wanting to close, and I feel like I am made of lead. Even my ears are picking up the whispers of the couch calling my name to come for a nap. Going through menopause and sweating most nights makes it difficult to get a decent rest. I have been sleep deprived for many months now. Sadly, there seems to be no end in sight.

Question #8 – If you could be famous, what would you like to be famous for?

I want to be famous for my YouTube channel with millions of subscribers (something along the lines of what PewDeePie or Roman Atwood or Lizza Koshy have). Then I could make some really decent money and have a job I love to do that is totally portable.

I am already recognized as a respected member of the RC (remote control) community. I’m unusual in that I’m a woman who likes to play with, fix, and modify electric RC vehicles. I also have a lot of people following me for my cooking and baking videos.

So I want to keep up with my channel format as it is, providing videos covering a variety of topics, showing off my skills, and helping people figure out stuff by showing them how I did it.

Yes, I would like to be famous for that.

Question #10 – Who was your favourite teacher? What made him or her special?

My favourite teacher has to be Miss Betty Trevor. I believe I was in fifth grade. She was East Indian I think; she had an exotic look and a calm, quiet voice. I sat at the front of her class so I could see (my eyes are bad).

Miss Trevor’s desk was just to the left in the corner of the room. She was always available if I had a question. There were no dumb questions according to Miss Trevor.

When I was sick, Miss Trevor had compassion for me, and when other kids would pick on me, she would put a stop to it immediately. I felt protected and valued in her class. She was special to me since no other teacher ever treated me like that in all my school years.

Question #15 – What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty. There are two women that I have been fortunate to call my best friends for twenty-five years or a little more. I can call either of them at any time day or night and cry, laugh, talk, or ask for their honest opinion (and get it) and the reverse is also true. They can call me, and I will always be there.

We all realize that life gets busy, but even if we don’t talk for long periods of time, my friends and I can call as if we had just spoken yesterday. There is no awkwardness.

My friends and I have been through so much over the years, and have formed bonds that cannot easily be broken.

Question #17 – What have you collected?

I have collected cat figurines but with limited space to display them, or even store them in boxes, I had to downsize my collection drastically. I did keep six important ones that live on my bookshelves in front of the books.

Speaking of bookshelves, I also collect books. The two main authors I collect are Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I have recently been reading Lee Child too and, of course, I do read other authors. I have two large bookshelves that are absolutely stuffed with books. Since there isn’t really room to add another bookshelf, I periodically weed through my collection and decide which books can go so that I can add new ones. In this way I am continually refining my collection to keep only the books that really speak to me and that I will reread again and again.woman writing in notebook showing only legs hands, pen and notebook

Question #20 – What is most important to you at this time in your life?

I will be turning 56 in November. While this is not ancient by any means, I realize that time is not on my side anymore.

It is important to me that I get my memoir written. All that I have lived through thus far in life has to be turned around for a positive purpose. I want to convey not only what I have gone through, but how I got through it. If I can help one person (hopefully many more) learn how to cope, it will be worth every moment I spend writing and rewriting. I want to let them know they are not alone, and that if I could get through it and find happiness and peace in the end, they can too.

Question – What was your favourite question? Why?

My favourite question on this list has to be Question #7 – What is your body telling you? That question made me sit and think quietly to evaluate what my body was telling me. I don’t think I do that enough. I have ideas in my brain of what I want/need to do, and I just expect my body to comply. In the future, I should listen to my body before I say “Yes, I will do this or that.” After all, I need both my brain and my body to make it through this life and I really need to listen to both to be fair.

Thanks, Karen, for posting this expanded list of questions. There are some really good ones here.

Susan welcomes your comments and questions. I can guarantee, from personal experience, that she will reply to every one!

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  1. Hi, Karen, thank you for posting my answers to the questions… I absolutely love the quote by DANIELLE LAPORTE that you chose. The pictures really speak to me and, I think, represent me perfectly.

    You were right about my responding to each and every comment or question people have for me. I love talking to people in the comment section (same as I do on my YouTube channel). πŸ˜€

  2. Susan, I so appreciate your willingness to share selected parts of your life story with us through this post and the one you did nine months ago when Profound Journey started. You write beautifully, are thoughtful and creative and I, for one, can’t wait to read your memoir. I’m glad that you are determined to write it. A big project always takes a lot of time and determination and a memoir, when you are sharing some of the deepest truths about yourself and your life, is a special kind of challenge.
    Thank you for being an active Profound Journey tribe member. I always enjoy reading your perspective, whether that’s through your own writing or comments you’ve made on every post.

    1. Aww, thanks for your beautiful sentiments about both me and my writing, Karen. I am happy to be an active Profound Journey tribe member. This website is amazing and I am always learning something; either about myself or a myriad of other fascinating topics you do such a thorough research on.
      Thank you for describing my writing in such glowing terms. I will make sure you get the first signed copy of my memoir! πŸ˜€

  3. Hi, Susan – I felt privileged reading your personal and thoughtful answers to these rather tough questions. I admire your incredible openness and honesty. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you so much, Donna. I appreciate you commenting to let me know that you feel that way. It is comments like yours that make me smile and realize what a truly great place the internet is when you can reach across miles and connect with wonderful people, like you, from all over the world. πŸ˜€

  4. Susan, you obviously thought long and hard about your answers and your self honesty is remarkable. I want you to know though, I have a friend with a Mini Cooper and she says it’s the loudest, teeth-shaking rattletrap she has ever owned – so Susan, if you win the lottery buy something that glides over the road. Thank you again for being so forthcoming with your post; I wish I were as courageous.

    1. Thank you, Anna, for the compliments and the forewarning about Mini Coopers! LOL…hhmm I will have to put some more thought into what to buy if I win the lottery. I am definitely not looking for a loud, teeth-shaking car. I still like the look of them and the iconic paint jobs but perhaps I will settle for a Hot Wheels version of one to sit on my desk by my computer. πŸ˜‰ For that, at least, I won’t need to win the lottery. πŸ˜€ Your comment made me break out in a smile, so thank you again.

        1. Rattletrap or not, I love the looks of a Mini Cooper. Do a test drive and maybe the newer ones will be different!

          Susan, I am also trying to put together a memoir. I admire your tenacity and discipline in heading towards that goal. I let a lot of things get in the way of pursuing that goal. You inspire me to get back on track.

          I also enjoyed your responses to Karen’s questions. I particularly liked your answer to what you valued the most in friends-loyalty. I concur. To me it is the definition of friendship!

          1. Thank you very much, Fran. I appreciate your advice on the Mini Cooper and I may just do that should I ever win the lottery. LOL! I also find that the newer versions of beloved cars (look what they did to the VW Beetle or the Mustang) lose their iconic shape in order to be more modern and fuel efficient. If/when I reach the stage where I could afford one I will remember your advice and at least rethink the possibilities.

            That is great that you would like to write a memoir. I am glad I could inspire you as well. Perhaps posting notes of affirmation around the house will subliminally help you stay on track. Messages like; A memoir is a piece of me that can live on long after I am gone, or, Have you written today?. Anything that frames things in a positive way to counter any excuses you usually use for not getting your memoir written. Just a suggestion, of course.

            Friends are wonderful to have but to be true friends you need to know that you can count on them through thick and thin, with them able to say the same about you. That is what I have found, at least, in the two friends I have been blessed to have in my life for the past 25 or 26 years. Thank you for the validation of the definition of friendship that I hold too.

  5. This is great team work, Susan and Karen! The provoking questions, the insightful answers, the quote, the images… Enjoy writing your memoir, Susan. While it will be tough going at times, the end product will be so worth it! I hope you get a good night’s sleep soon. Being exhausted is not very helpful to get the creative juices flowing. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Liesbet, and thanks for the support for Susan writing her memoir. You know better than most that it’s a tough go, so your reassurance that it will be worth it counts for a lot.
      You’re so right about the impact of exhaustion on creativity. I hope you’re getting over your exhausting train journey!

    2. Thank you very much, Liesbet. I really appreciate your encouragement and your honesty about it being a tough go at times. I hope I get a good night’s sleep soon too. I can vouch for the struggle to be creative when exhausted – ugh, I think I may need to see my doctor to get my dose of estrogen increased a little bit more. I know they say the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time but I do want the time I am on this treatment to be effective…and it’s not yet. πŸ™

      1. The more you want something to work, the less it seems to happen, sometimes. My husband is on Tamoxifen and it affects his energy level, productiveness and fogginess of the brain as well – very hard to run our business and deal with customers like that. Four more years! πŸ™ I hope you find a solution soon!

        1. Thanks for sharing that about your husband, Liesbet. I totally agree with that statement you started with. I hope I find a solution soon too… this is a sad way to slog through life and I need it to end. πŸ™‚ I am sure together with my doctor we will work it out somehow.

  6. Susan, I liked the insight that you had during your trip to Newfoundland about slowing down and letting things occur in their own time. It speaks to me, as I feel that during most of my adult life I have been in a terrible rush, trying to cram too much in. By the way, I have a Mini Cooper — a 2016 model — and I love it. It is beautifully engineered, economical on gas, and fun to drive.


    1. Thank you, Jude, for letting me know that what I said resonated with you. I think it is an all too common sentiment these days that we are all in such a rush. Have you ever noticed tapping your foot waiting for the microwave? LOL, I have. Catching myself doing that served to pull me up short and realize what I was doing and how ridiculous it was to be impatient for something that was set to take two minutes.

      Awesome, thanks for vouching for the Mini Cooper (at least the 2016 model). Your description leaves me wondering if I really could part with enough money to purchase a Mini Cooper for myself when I can save enough that is. πŸ˜‰ Until then, I think a Hot Wheels version for my desk will have to suffice but your comment has me rethinking an eventual purchase, thanks. ;D

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