Not Ready to Record My Family History

Writing a story by Ana Campos

Photo by Ana Campos via Creative Commons

Since I started writing this blog in 2009, I’ve had various people tell me I should write a book. Share my experiences growing up as the only Asian family in our small Louisiana town. Share my story about meeting my husband and how my parents didn’t approve of him. Share my experiences raising biracial children. Essentially, that I should record my family’s history.

My virtual book club From Left to Write is reading Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey where the Countess of Carnarvon meticulously researches family diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings to give a complete history of the aristocracy that lived in Highclere Castle, where the television show Downton Abbey is filmed. Reading the book made think more about how I would record my family history.

I’m not sure I’m ready to record my family’s history for public consumption.  

My first worry is, What would my parents think? Even if they actually read books in English. I could not disrespect my parents by airing all of our skeletons in a memoir. Telling the world our problems and misunderstandings is considered telling everyone about our weakness. They would lose face.

I remember how my mom would always admonish, “Don’t tell your friends about <insert family issue here> because they’ll think we’re crazy. Americans tell everyone their problems but we keep it in the family.”

Now, I share more about myself to the internet than many of my family members do. But it’s mostly about me and the kids. My viewpoint. I choose what I want to share. We’re by no means perfect, but I’m still in control.

There will not be a  tell-all family history in my near future.

How do you record your family’s history?


This post was inspired by Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon. Learn more about the family who lived in Highclere Castle, where the popular British series Downton Abbey is filmed. Join From Left to Write on December 17 we discuss  Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


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