Here I am, in 2019, looking back on 2018. The future is already here with days tripping over days at a rapid pace. How can I keep track of the past if I can’t even keep up with the future, which becomes the past, before I blink an eye?
The story of my life is trying to model others. I suppose this came about from being the sixth child of seven. Those in existence before me, already knew who they were, when I arrived. As for me, I wasn’t quite sure of myself and spent most of my time emulating, imitating and trying to figure out this enigma of self. Four of my siblings being boys, inevitably meant I became the quintessential tomboy. Never completely sold on the male identity, I was extremely feminine, as well. Everyone kept trying to tell me who I was, but somehow they were wrong.
We were lucky to have loving parents to help us feel secure, and turn into decent people. We came from the ideal family, even. Living in a small town, many of our friends envied our altruism, and wanted to be a part of us. So my parents pretty much opened their doors, and let everyone in. We used to call the place, Grand Central Station. Such was life.
Now I am preceding 2018 by decades. The memory won’t stop. How do I remember? Simple, I write things down, and look back. It’s a good way to know yourself. I think of my dad while he was in the Army from 1941 to 1945, and how he kept a diary the whole time. He tried to write faithfully everyday, but when the duties of combat called, he had to stop, and encapsulate a period of time in one entry later. His diary was his companion. It kept him close to himself. He never lost track of who he was, which was important in war time, when the bombs hurled over head. There’s nothing like your thoughts in one place to keep you grounded.
I am grateful to my parents for instilling the art of self actualization through journaling, and other artistic endeavors. Ideas, activities, feelings, travels, facts and dreams all get recorded to inform me of who I was when I was writing. Bad things turn out to seem not so bad. And, it’s useful when you want to know who you were with, where you spent time, and why you did the things you did at a given moment in time. Looking back at old entries is a magical way to experience the present and head on into the future. Day, after day.