Continuing in what seems to be an unintentional series of blog posts inspired by my childhood, while sorting through old papers and documents I found something quite interesting. My autobiography. Well, at least between birth and the age of 12 when my first high school English teacher insisted I wrote it. It is a remarkable and hilarious document that I earnestly typed out (with a typewriter) and stuck photographs – and other artifacts of my childhood – onto. It consists of the following categories:
- Birth and Background
- My Early Childhood
- Early Schooling
- Outstanding Memories and Incidents In My Life
- My Family Today
- My Friends
- Interests In Life
- My First Impressions Of High School
- Hopes For The Future
- Special Things About Me
This Is Me Then: Some photographs from different times in my life.
One of the understandings I arrived at doing the morning pages is that moods and thoughts are transistory. I often forget things as quickly and easily as I think of them. Writing them down for future reference can be a fascinating exercise and taking time to document your life at different stages can help build the narrative of your life and give your life today some sense of context. For example this is what I wrote for my Hopes For The Future:
I hope to get good grades in the following years and to go on to complete my six years of school. Then go on to work in a radio station.
I graduated high school and got grades I could feel proud of, but I actually found myself in a radio station before I even left high school. It was community radio, an unpaid gig certainly, but the point was I was doing it. I was music director, producer, researcher, announcer for various radio shows as a teenager and even now there is a Listener’s Choice – Best Production award on the bookshelf beside me from that time. Often when you sit down to a creative endeavour the fears that impede your work don’t have any sense of reality or of history. They don’t consider what you’ve done before, how resourceful you’ve been. Indeed when presented with my current memoir project I had no memory of this other memoir project from years gone by. Now I realise I’ve done it before. I also realise it won’t be hard to better my last attempt. This is encouraging!
I wanted to also note something similar to this that my primary school got us to do. Each year we were given a form to fill in, documenting our then favourite things – foods, activities, friends, music, films and books. This took hardly any time to do and yet builds such a vivid picture of childhood development. I hope schools still do this.