It’s My Life

Yeah, there’s been a lot of that here lately, too. There are a lot of things I’d like to be writing about, if only so I’ll remember them later, but time and energy seem to be in short supply.

It strikes me that this online journal has in many ways been the primary record of my life for the past thirteen years or so. And I’m a little frightened about that, because much —  in fact most — of what I’m thinking at any given moment is never expressed here. I love you all, really, but I’ve gotten past that need to share every aspect of my life and all my most personal thoughts online. In fact, I don’t think I ever really had that need to begin with. But the website is the only place where I really document things, which means a lot of events, thoughts, and emotions have gotten lost in the shuffle over the years. Email makes a good secondary record (I keep all of mine, and have just about every piece I’ve received in the past fifteen years or so) but it’s not a complete record either. Video and photos are helpful too, but also not 100% satisfactory.

I used to be a very obsessive keeper of paper journals; that phase lasted from about 1979 to 1988, although it was very sporadic the last couple of years. Some longtime readers may remember that I used to have excerpts from those old journals posted here. In the earlier years, my entries were more “what I did today” with occasional commentary. The later ones were more detailed, “analytical” narratives with more stream of consciousness type babbling. I think I like the earlier format better in retrospect, although the latter sometimes has its charms as well.

I’ve toyed with starting to journal (journalize?) again over the years, and even rigged up a nifty journal interface using Filemaker Pro six or seven years ago. It seems always to come in spurts, though. I’m in one right now, documenting the new house and my last months in graduate school, albeit not very well, but it always seems I manage to miss keeping journals during the parts of my life I ultimately most wish I’d done so. Maybe that’s because at those times (e.g. my first years in San Francisco, my first months with Mark, my alcohol-enhanced first term in Charlotte, etc.), I was too busy actually living life to spend time reflecting on it.

It could be the budding young archivist in me, but I’m really going to try to do a better job of getting some of those memories down on paper, or at least in some uncensored format.

Not that you’ll be reading them.