Margaret Blaha’s 26-Minute Memoir

26Hi Readers,

In 2009 I started a blog called 26-Minute Memoir and started publishing 26-Minute Memoirs--stories that describe the essence of your life written in 26 minutes–from students, friends, WIMD 34Facebook and blog followers. In my book Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too), I encourage readers to write their own 26-Minute Memoir and send it to me, and they have! Over the next few weeks, I will be posting these writings. Below you’ll find Margaret Blaha’s 26-Minute Memoir. Please feel free to write one of your own. You can find instructions and links to other 26-Minute Memoirs here:


26-Minute Memoir

By Margaret Blahas

The precise year events unfold in has never been important to me.

I’m not really sure what year my grandpa died.

One year is never exactly like another. I think I live a pretty adventurous life and will go on doing so.

Soon, I won’t remember what year it was that I lived in China, that I got my first real job. But is that so important?

A year ends and begins in a single night, anyway.

I can never remember how I spent the last night of a year. Save for this last one. At a round table, three previous generations recounted a past that didn’t include me with greater clarity than I can recount yesterday.

Resolution isn’t a good word. It sounds like you’re starting the new year with a problem you’ve got to solve: “I’m going to lose weight.” In other words, “Resolve my fatness.”

I have a list for the New Year.

I have a list for each new day.

The start of the rest of your life. Carpe Diem. A fresh start. We get this every year. But it’s hard to see New Year’s Day as separate from the cycle of the rest of the year.

If I hear another person say they hope for world peace….

Why only on this day does anything seem possible?

Eventually we all feel defeated. Problems don’t get resolved. There’s no pausing the passing of time in order to meet our deadlines.

How cruel. How unfeeling.

I haven’t fallen into the trivial and mundane routine of adulthood, yet. I hope I never will.

I still look at adults who cannot seem to accomplish all they wanted in a year’s time with pity, with disgust. If I take the time to empathize with them I know why. But most of the time I write them off as people I will never become.

My ambitions will make me greater than the three previous generations who sit at a table with me.

Great in what way? Define greatness.

I can’t.

It’s a feeling in my gut.

Since I was little, I’ve wanted the whole world.

What does an expression like this even mean?
The whole world?

Tomorrow I’d like to pack up and go to Iceland. Russia. Italy. Argentina.

I question whether I actually want to see these places or to just tell people that I’ve been to them.

If it’s the latter, doesn’t that make me as bad as my friend who seems to only like to travel somewhere to get a stamp in her passport?

It’s time to really question what makes a life worth living…worth saving.

I have an uncle who’s practically a vegetable and dying in hospice.

Some people are born vegetables. Is it okay to assume that their lives are miserable?

Maybe my life’s miserable. I’m not exactly happy. But I am content.

How many of us can say we even know what happiness is?

Sometimes “happy” people look ignorant to me. They couldn’t possibly have much self-awareness.

Being able to really “look” at myself is important to me.

About Theo Pauline Nestor

Author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed. Learn more about my courses, editing, and coaching at
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