Write your own story, and not the bullshit fairy tale your elders would tell. The simple fact is, denial is a generational thing, and here you are, midlife, and only now, ready to choose your own adventure. Choose yourself. Write your story. Today, it’s page 1.
Take a boy, take a girl. They fall in love (or think that they do). It doesn’t work out. You can insert any complex of reasons, the fact is the kids get dragged into the drama, the self-insert irresistible to the parents who aren’t as grown-up as they’d like to think.
Skip ahead a few years. The kids fall in love (or think that they do). It doesn’t work out, but that’s what happens, sometimes, when you’ve been old since you’ve been young. At some point, the kids wake up and look around and say– fuck all this shit, I’m not going to repeat your mistakes, I’m going to make my own mistakes, thanks.
Burn their own bridges, ones that have nothing to do with other people’s input.
Maybe it’s wrong, maybe it’s right. At least it’s a choice.
Maybe the parents get upset because it’s a repudiation of their mistakes– or it seems like it, to them, because they’re wrapped up, still, in their own story, and unable to see– there’s a library out there, a whole world of books with other stories around them, a Dewey Decimal system of organizing principles unrelated to their interests and fancies.
There is nothing wrong with an introduction– it’s important to acknowledge what’s come before– but don’t ever forget– it’s all the roman numerals– the preface– to your actual story.
In the condensed version, the introduction gets tossed. Don’t forget that about yourself.