28 Jan 2023


Autobiographical Incident: How to Write an Autobiographical Essay

Format: MLA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 1033

Pages: 4

Downloads: 0

An autobiographical incident essay is a story that narrates about a particular event in the writer’s life. The story is set within a short period, usually minutes, a few hours, or one or two days. It shows the sequence of activities clearly, contains sensory detail, and expresses the importance for the reader. It revolves around one well-narrated incident and provides the context by describing the background of the incident. The writer sets a tone to show his/her attitude towards the incident. 

Essay Example 

My head swirls with the memory of our last conversation. His words ringing loud in my ears: “Do not tell this to anyone. You are well aware of our company's policies when it comes to matters of relationships. So best to keep it under wraps" 

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A month had passed since. Many are times when I've wanted to speak up. To let myself out of this cage. This could be the chance. “ But what if it comes at the expense of my job? … The very thing I need to survive? What if it becomes the very knife with which I hurt myself?” 

My hands are clammy, no amount of wiping them helps. There's a thick lump stuck in my throat that no amount of water will wash down. I could never be more ready than I am, for the panel that's to interview me. For the man that violated my innocence, the minute I stepped foot into this office, I want to throw up, to crawl out of my skin because his presence is a reminder of dark spaces, strangled voices, and the prison that my body has become. 

I push my seat back, take one final look at my small compact mirror before springing to my feeble silhouetted feet. Smoothing my skirt, I make the now subconscious six steps that get me standing at the entrance to the long steaming room; the board room. 

Before this interview I had emailed my credentials to the Human Resource Manager; expressing my interest in the just vacated Sales Officer position; a promotion you'd call it. That's how much I wanted things for myself. So there I am, a vibrant promising candidate on the hot seat, on the receiving end of questions meant to gauge my capacity for the job yet all I can register is him, leering at me. Him staring at the front of my blouse and gawking. Until it's his turn to ask his questions: “Sylvia, why do you think you deserve this promotion?" I can't help but notice his now erect posture, the shadow of a smile creeping across his face. 

It takes me what seemed like a minute then, but which later turned out to be five. Why? Because I was stuck in the back seat of his car, pleading to be let out; screaming myself hoarse, banging at windows that won't give out. I was stuck underneath the weight of a stranger, begging my body to hold on, to not give up on me. I was willing my mind to go blank, wishing my lungs could in that one moment fight one battle alongside my mind, allow me one chance to not breathe. 

"To tell you the truth, I have been wanting my own office, my own space for some time now. For one, I feel that I have earned that. And two, I have met every other target you've set for me and I think it's time I take on more responsibilities around here." 

“ How do you think you'll manage among the men if we give you the opportunity?” 

“ Same way I always have; by doing my job and getting things done.” 

“ How do you plan on getting things done?” 

I did not see this coming. The same way you do not see life-changing occurrences happen; one minute you are sane, next you are declared mad, one minute you're on the street alive and well, next you're run over, bleeding out about to become just but a statistic. 

I grip the arms of my chair, will myself to breathe because it's all I can do to stop myself from falling apart. The man I hate with every essence of my being is intent on making everything difficult for me. 

I cannot let them see the cracks. I will not. So I give myself the much-needed pep-talk. I remind myself of the greatness that resides in me. I invoke the spirits of goodwill that reside in me, the spirits of gentleness. I utter the names of my mother and grandmother, pray for the strength that runs deep in the streams of their blood, my blood. I hold myself in the only way I can, and imagine myself on my throne, wielding the power I now seek in front of these men. 

I remind myself that if it were as easy as I had hoped it would be, it probably wouldn't be me sitting in this upholstered chair. That bitterness will get to me only if I let it. That as humans all we'll ever do is to circumnavigate the world; searching and eventually getting back to the very beginning. That how we choose to react to things, the kind of impact that people and experiences have on us is entirely up to us. That the burden of self-blame is worse a sentence than incarceration. 

Words cannot suffice so I hand him my papers. Plans outlining my marketing strategies, key pointers that if implemented will sure give us an edge over our competitors; Hallmark Marketing. I had made enough copies to go round and so they do. Three heads subtly nod their admiration. Two sets of eyes seem hungry and curious for more, to be let in on the idea. 

The head of the panel clears his throat to speak, give his verdict, and I hold my breath. Squeezing my thighs together I remind myself to be ready for whatever outcome. This is me preparing myself for loss. 

"Ms. Sylvia, following our assessment of your capacities and based on your performance, we are pleased to offer you a chance to serve as one of our Marketing Officers." 

“ Thank you so much, Sir, I look forward to serving and delivering my absolute best in my new capacity”. 

Looking back, I still ache for the injustice that was my silence, sometimes I berate myself for not standing up for myself. Sometimes I want to drown myself in self-pity. I wonder if he still goes about violating other innocent girls, if he guilt trips them with the very system rules that are supposed to protect them. If he had a change of heart, and likewise a change of manners. 

I try and imagine how things would have played out had I chosen not to show up at the interview, had I tended in my resignation. Or worse, switched jobs to one I didn't enjoy, a less pleasant one. What he created in me is a deep-seated hate for him, his manners in particular, but I didn't let it get in the way of living my life more so of chasing my dreams on his turf. I stayed, because sometimes grudge and hate, just like fear, was never meant to scare us, but to direct us towards what's worth it. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Autobiographical Incident: How to Write an Autobiographical Essay.


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