Are you singing Sympathy for the Devil now too?
Photo Credit: David Bastedo
It’s been a while since I’ve introduced myself and some of you may not know much about me. I thought it might be a good idea to start a new year with a re-introduction, to put a face and a personality to my social accounts. They are, after all, meant to be social. And, as social creatures, we have a need to see and be seen by one another. Thinking further…I’ve changed so much over the past few years, it seems as prudent to introduce myself to people I’ve known since childhood as it is to do so with those of you I’ve just now met.
Aren’t we all changing all the time?
It's the one and only constant.
Yet we tend to interact with one another as though nothing has changed, as though we’re still old versions of ourselves. Particularly with the people most familiar to us. We get stuck in old scripts, viewed through old lenses, filtered through outdated internalized beliefs. What if we made it a habit to regularly update the scripts in our own minds and the minds of the people with whom we interact?
Doesn’t any good operating system require regular updates to function optimally?
Either way…whether you know me (or you think you know me) or you don’t…
Hi! I’m Lara.
My full name is Lara Margaret Marjerrison. I sometimes refer to myself as elemem (my initials, spelled phonetically) and that’s the moniker I use when signing my books, poetry, and visual art.
I’m a writer—of fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, memoir, and poetry. I’m also a spoken word artist, a live storyteller, a speaker, a visual artist, a photographer, and a classically trained chef.
Those are just my artistic pursuits. I have a long list of other interests, passions, and skill sets.
I used to think that having so many “things” made me flakey—largely because others drilled that idea (lie) into my head—but I’ve come to realize my multi-hyphenate ways are just a representation of the multitudinous layers of me…my beingness. Uniquely and exquisitely my own.
I’m infinitely curious—like…little-kid curious—about the world and every spectacular thing in it. Admittedly, I also get crabby (hello, fellow Cancerians) and impatient with the more ridiculous bits, and can get very antisocial at times as a result. Which causes me to disappear into the safety of my shell now and again, to recalibrate. I straddle the line between introversion and extroversion—pretty heavily weighted toward introversion—and it’s critical to my sanity to grant myself the rest I need when I need it. I’ve learned the hard way what it costs me when I don’t, and the price is simply too high. I’m no longer interested in people-pleasing or performing for approval. I spent far too much of the first part of my life wasting time and my talents trying to make other people happy.
Now I live my life on my own terms, guided by the wisdom of my own body, mind, and spirit.
Whether out in the world or safely encased inside my crabshell/home, I’m relentless in my pursuit of knowledge and understanding. I’m forever willing to adapt and adjust my thinking. New information creates an opportunity for a new, and better, version of me…something I’m persistently striving toward. Though it can sometimes be uncomfortable, unlearning excites me as much as learning.
I don’t mind discomfort. I far-and-away prefer it to the excruciating nature of ignorance.
And I don’t mind standing out…far from the madding crowd.
I want to belong as much as the next person, but I value integrity over popularity.
Even when it’s lonely.
It’s often lonely.
Fortunately for me, I like my own company. So it mostly works out okay.
It's my belief that the stories we tell must constantly be examined. For bias, for truth (or the lack of it), for a potentially better, more accurate, more kind and loving way of being told.
That’s what I do.
I examine stories. I obsess about stories. I write stories. I tell stories. I seek out new stories. I seek to connect with people through stories—mine and theirs. I seek to make my contribution to the writing of a better collective story for us all.
There’s lots to know about me, a great deal of which I’m still learning myself. My ideal is to be so vividly, visibly, viscerally raw and vulnerable with you, so wildly, boldly, brashly myself, that you feel free enough to do the same with me—with nice, healthy boundaries in place, of course. So that we both might see and understand one another better. I won’t always achieve my ideal. I’m as human as anyone. I too get nervous about being seen naked. But I continue to strive, and I appreciate you being here as my ride-along as I make my way.
I hope whatever I have to offer, in whatever form it may take, will be of value to you in some way. I hope my little spark of madness might light something inside of you that allows your own fire to burn brighter, and that together we might light the world on fire and burn down all that has surpassed its expiration date.
Let’s do that, shall we?
Oh, yeah, and there’s this thing I say…
“Life takes guts. I love your guts.”
And I mean it.
IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A black and white headshot of a white woman with light brown, shoulder length hair, turned slightly to the left and looking directly into the camera with a relaxed, easy smile and bright eyes.