Each of us has our own filter through which we process the world. There’s no denying it. We have our favorite things we like to do, our favorite things we like to eat, and our favorite ways to just do stuff. I remember when we lived in Michigan for four years. One of the things I had to get used to was not having sweet tea. Having done most of my growing up in the South and then having spent a good portion of my adult life in the South, getting used to not having sweet tea was a big deal. But I did.
Our four years in Michigan were filled with many firsts. We took our kids out of public school to homeschool them. We spent the majority of our winters with snow on the ground. We saw areas of the country we had never seen before. And we met people who did things differently. It was hard at first. There were misunderstandings of the correct way to do things. I remember my husband telling me a story of something that happened a short time after he began working there. He turned left at an intersection like he had always done where we had come from. Well, a lot of people honked their horns at him, and he didn’t understand why. When he got to work, he told the story, and his co-workers told him what a “Michigan left” was. He had never heard of it, and neither had I, but apparently in Michigan, you are not supposed to turn left at the majority of intersections. You are supposed to go down to a lane which looks like a U-turn lane, use it, and then go back up to the intersection and turn right in the direction you need to go in. As you can imagine, this ran counter to everything we had been taught about driving. But we got used to it.
You might wonder why I bring all this up. As a writer, my best writing is done when my perceptions have been widened. Living in Michigan was tough to start with, but when we left four years after we arrived, I had made friends and had an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. The title of this blog is “Write What You Know”, but if I didn’t try to expand myself, it would become limited very quickly. So, my goal is to continue to do things to widen my perceptions. Hopefully, that will make me a better writer.
Until next time, be real!