Mimi Snow Photography
Amy London is an Arizona native and a graduate of Arizona State University and Scottsdale Community College, where she won awards for both expository and argumentative essays. Her focus and major was in theater and film.
After surviving a traumatic brain injury in 2015, she returned to creative writing as part of her rehabilitation.
Her first non-fiction essay on brain injury was published in the 2016 anthology, Surviving Brian Injury: Stories of Strength and Inspiration.
In the summer of 2019 she returned to the stage for the first time, winning first place in The Storyline Slam telling her story within the theme of “Magic.”
I am born in Arizona to a family who encourages creativity. As a child I write, sing, dance, draw, and spend all my summer hours in the pool avoiding 100 degree heat. I enter essay contests and write poetry with abandon. I am a voracious reader, and stack up summer reading program ribbons.
Age eight, my older brother has his first schizophrenic break. I grow up overnight, and put my energy into solving adult problems.
Middle and high school, I use journaling to ease emotional discomfort, and publish a paper or two about teenage misadventures. I try out the theater, and when accolades come from acting I leave writing behind. I can hide who I am in other people, and it feels safe.
Early-twenties I try out college, but it pales in comparison to a life of parties and predictive relationships. I fail out, work full-time, and try again. Eventually acting comes back to help me graduate, and I move to Hollywood to repay the favor.
Early-thirties I spend most of my days at an office job, dreaming of my big break. Instead of becoming rich and famous, I find recovery in 12-step programs. Much later I realize this is a better deal.
Late-thirties in the span of 18 months my brother and mother die, I lose my job, my car, and a lot of my mental footing. I dive into school to find myself, and move back to Arizona to piece things together. Creative writing makes a brief appearance in a drafted blog but I abandon it.
Early-forties I work full-time, graduate from two colleges with honors in web design and development, and pick up acting again to avoid drowning in unresolved grief. Something is missing, but I can’t quite place it. Computer work appears to be a good fit.
Afterlife or Rebirth
One summer night a cicada comes into my kitchen. I crawl up on a chair to trap it and lose my footing. I fall backward and sustain a traumatic brain injury.
As part of my rehabilitation it is suggested I return to writing. When I do it smiles upon me and whispers, “We missed you. Welcome home.”
I began writing to recover from my darkest self—to construct a lighthouse to bring me home. After a while I noticed patterns: overarching themes tying together what I needed to say and what helped others to hear.
How do we live in the world and have it make sense? How do we find hope with all the discomfort and doubt? How do we set a better example if we are unsure of our own footing?
I found my answers in everyday occurrences, and began to translate them into my writings in a way that was easy for others to understand. I revealed how I handled situations, even in the most inept way, so that my problems turned into a process, and others felt supported. All with an undercurrent of service.
My hope is through all this something will be revealed and we will all be better for it in one way or another.
Let’s give it a whirl.
“Try to leave the Earth a better place than when you arrived.”