Synchroncity or How I came to delete my “Life Without Toilet Paper” Story

So, when I was 17 (around 1971) I said to myself that I was going to write a memoir called “Life Without Toilet Paper.” I lived with my mother at the time and it seemed like that was frequently my reality. I knew it would include my childhood trauma of witnessing my sister’s horse accident and her subsequent death. I also had a lot of family drama that I also was going to include. Life can be messy and I was going to stay real!

When I got in my 60’s I decided I better get on it, or perhaps it would not get done. What resulted was pretty much a bitch fest and I didn’t want that kind of published legacy so I decided I needed to include some “lessons learned” instead of a bunch of whining and complaining.

I also wanted it to be entertaining and so explored story telling frameworks that would hopefully help me with that. I knew from my Foresight training in how to write scenarios that the “hero’s journey” was a popular way to do storytelling but somehow I knew that wouldn’t work for me and my life. I later discovered that this type of framework does not work for many folks of childhood trauma and what we really had was the “Monsters Journey” as explained by Mark Foreman. (

I still needed an entertaining format, so explored some movie constructions, such as how Pixar tells a story ( and enrolled in a writing class with Martha Beck and Elizabeth Gilbert! ( Who wouldn’t want to learn how to write like the author of “Eat Pray Love, right?” And I have always admired Martha Beck’s humorous but lessons learned style as well. There was a Daily Om course too. (

But then 2020 came with the pandemic and I’ll be darned if “Life Without Toilet Paper” was a literal theme for many. I felt like my memoir of that title had some synchronicity in that the time of “Life Without Toilet Paper” had come and that I needed to complete it.

But then I saw this post on Instagram from Don Jose Ruiz “The truth is that any story of your life is just that, a story, and it’s collapse is a beautiful thing, because when it collapses you find out who you really are; you discover that you are really life itself.” (

I had heard that particular wisdom before, but this time it hit me in a more amplified way. And then one morning I woke up and had the thought, “I need to delete all copies of “Life Without Toilet Paper” in order to move on and free up my next phase of life.”

Then a couple days later in my Thomas Hubl feeds I saw where he says “As our karmic past is cleared, as trauma is healed and integrated, the genuine future can arrive to meet us. When we greet it from a place of presence and attunement, the world catches fire. Suddenly everything changes, yet nothing is lost.” (

Of course, some will say “Oh Terry, the fact that your memoir of long ago probably has nothing to do with what is happening now”, and they might be right but for me, it is Life or Grace notifying me that 2020 is the time to give up “my story” for a new chapter. And so, after all these years of writing, and money spent on how to express it, I deleted all copies in a few seconds. I don’t know what the new chapter is going to entail but I’m excited about the possibilities!

Author: Terry Collins

Foresight consultant and a lecturer and researcher at the University of Houston in the College of Technology. In the Project Management Department she teaches Leadership and Team Building to graduate students. In the Human Development and Consumer Science Department she teaches Human Ecosystems and Technological Change to undergraduates online. As a researcher she has worked in conjunction with the University of Houston Foresight Department and the Lumina Foundation on Student Needs 2025+. Led and mentored the "Emerging Fellows" blogging group for the Association of Professional Futurists. Has also mentored a group for the Women's Energy Network. Terry has given five presentations at the World Futures Society and two at the regional Project Management conference. She has appeared on “Great Day Houston” and moderated a Futures Panel at the Mensa regional conference. Terry has peer-reviewed publications in Foresight, Futures Quarterly Review, and On the Horizon She has a B.A. in Philosophy & a M.S. in Foresight

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