If I didn’t write and self-published my memoir in Serbian language three years ago (Danas nam je divan dan), there wouldn’t be this website. I wouldn’t follow my interest for photography nor would I create my Liminal World project.
Writing my memoir it had been my turning point. With my every new career or life endeavour, I am called to look back at that book and find something in it I didn’t see before.
My book holds pieces of my life story. In most of them I now feel I am telling one main story. It is the story about CHANGE; change that comes from the outer world and often leaves us without direction and control, and also the change that rises from within and pushes us to stretch and grow. My story begins in the early 80s and the years of my carefree childhood. It evolves through the 90s and my youth, marked by the devastation of the country I was born in (Yugoslavia), complete societal shift, and slow deterioration of my sense of self (and belonging). In the final chapters I reflect on years when I was thrown to take on different paths, open new doors, and learn stuff I necessarily wouldn’t choose to. While writing my book, I finally realized how I came out of this journey on the completely opposite side of the globe (Canada), and as a new person.
I was surprised with the impulse to write this book, because writing wasn’t ever my thing. By giving in, I became amazed with the process of creating. I was also surprised with the topic of my book. I wouldn’t willingly choose to publicly share moments of my life journey. I cherish privacy more than many other values; I consider myself to be face-to-face person; I like the freedom to choose to whom I would give my trust to; I am one of those who, although they value everything they learnt and became during their journeys, would never like to revisit many circumstances, experiences, and relationships of their life. But, as much as I was refusing to give in and face them, nothing else wanted to come out of me. After I surrendered, I guided myself through my many life experiences. I felt a lot, but I was able to observe my feelings; I relived my experiences, yet I perceived them differently. I broke myself into pieces and integrated afterwards into a brand new person.
After I published my book, I carried on leading with resistance. I didn’t do much to promote it. I decided to guard this newly found space and keep creating.
But I kept in mind that one day I would translate my book into English and share it with people who supported me. I constantly wondered how they would react to old Natasa. I do believe I somehow managed to live more than one life. (Constant change made my life journey very disconnected and split into different stories, different realities that many times didn’t go hand in hand with one another).
During 2020, with my new experience of sudden collective change and isolation, I was in a process of re-evaluation. I found more than a few good reasons to go back and focus on preparing my book for English readers (I thanked my translator from Croatia and decided to carry on with a Canadian editor).
This time there was no resistance as I understood my story was now a part of a collective story. The process of translation/rewriting/publishing led me to collaborations I experienced as blessings.
I want to thank my editor Darcy Nybo, who provided me with guidance and support during rewriting; my beta readers, Nikica Sekulic, Scott Hamerton, Anthony Carr, and Shannon Perkins Carr, whose suggestions made a great addition to the final version of my book; Norma J. Hill, Natasha Pashchenko, Shannon Perkins Carr, my proofreaders; Iryna Spica, my book designer. Without this great team of individuals (who are all from BC, Canada), I wouldn’t be able to complete my task and stay on The Journey to Bring Back Play.
I self-published my book in September 2021 in two formats, print book and e-book. For now, you can purchase it on Amazon and in Gigi’s Cafe (print book) in Victoria BC. My book is also available for readers of the Great Victoria Public Library. You can borrow it in the Central Branch in downtown Victoria.
As my book is a part of Liminal World too, I made a story about its creation in my September video. Please, watch it and share it with your community. Thank you.