Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Like Sands Through the Hourglass

So this weird identity crisis I’ve been going through for the past while has made me think a lot about my childhood; why I am the way I am, what things shaped my personality, my interests, my strengths and my weaknesses.  I used to be able to recall so clearly countless memories from my young childhood but now I’m finding even some of my teenage memories to be less clear.
I’ve been trying to capture some sense of myself at that time.  I recently hunted down an old PS1 video game that I adored (just in time because technology was about to eclipse me) and spent an embarrassing amount of time playing it.  I’ve started reading more, and am about to start reading a huge book that I probably read four times from ages 13-18.  If I had to pick a book that encapsulates my young teenage self it would be this one.
If I had a child something I would encourage them to do would be to document their life in some way.  Whether that be through consistently photographing events in their life and keeping them filed and organized in a clear way, or through journaling, or a combination.  An idea I had would be to write letters to my future self.  Every time something happened (party, a romantic/flirtatious encounter, heartbreak, success, failure) to sit down and write a letter to yourself in the future telling them about what occurred.  Basically a journal but written in letter form.  I think it would be priceless if I had kept a detailed journal of things that happened in my life from the time I was a small child, say fourth grade and continued it for the rest of my life.  How amazing would it be to go back and read a huge book of your life’s experiences?  There would be so many details that I’ve completely forgotten so many funny stories.  Stories or funny jokes from parties, the complete arc of a relationship from beginning flirtations to its demise or evolution into a marriage.
I have this weird thing with journals where I can never get in the habit of writing things in one place.  I’ve got at least 3 or 4 journals/notebooks kicking around all of them have about the first ¼ filled.  I find it hard to organize them as my preference seems to be to write lists on random pieces of crap paper all the time.  If anyone is a master journaler or has some clever way or recording thoughts and experiences let me know.  In a future month I want to start journaling again and I need a better system for it. 
I used to write a diary for a bit when I was younger, but then I would go back and read stuff several months later and decide it was stupid and rip it out.  It could be for an excuse as dumb as my handwriting wasn’t very nice.  At the moment I’m blogging and it’s a record, but it’s a record of happiness project stuff but it’s still an edited version of the happiness project.  Some people like scrapbooking, and even though I like the idea, formal scrapbooking to me is a lot of work and very expensive.  I have a friend who goes on scrapbooking retreats, entire days dedicated to scrapbooking in a giant room with 20 other scrapbookers.  It’s just too much for me, but I like aspects of it like adding in mementos and creating a beautiful record.

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