Capturing the essence of your life in exactly six words has become a fascinating and oddly clarifying past-time. I even saw there has been a board game created around this concept just in time for Christmas. It’s being promoted as “Twitter meets Password” and the object of the game is for teams to compete to create and identify hundreds of topics based on six-word descriptions.
Somehow, calling it a micro-memoir is more appealing and less final than, say, thinking of it as an epitaph, though there are some great six-word epitaphs that seem to qualify as memoirs in their own way (think, “I told you I was sick” or “At last I get top billing”).
My daughter was recently asked to come up with a six-word memoir for a job application and we both spent the next several hours blurting out funny (and some not so funny) combinations of words that told our stories within those parameters. The one I came up with that really seemed to resonate with me also made me kind of sad. Here it is:
“I never did get it right.”
True, my life isn’t over yet so I still have time to “get it right”. After all, this is just a six-word memoir, not my epitaph. But summing up my life that way sounded so negative and defeated. I want to be more optimistic than that and I have every reason to be. In many ways, I have led a fascinating and even charmed life. I have always been deeply loved (maybe that would be a better six-word memoir) and my Christian faith has sustained me (another one).
But by some standard in my own mind, the phrase: “I never did get it right” reverberated and taunted me. And there are days I let that define me.
No, I never did get it right. But you know what the truth is? Neither did you. Neither did the most accomplished among us. And that’s really okay. It’s good to try, but if we could get it right (whatever that means by your definition, which is no doubt different from mine), we would have no need of each other and no need of God. We would be sinless, and Jesus’ death would have been irrelevant.
I think I’ll accept imperfection, how about you?
Do you have a six-word memoir you would share … and maybe explain?