Yesterday afternoon my dear friend Amy came over for coffee and a chat. We talked about many things and eventually found ourselves discussing why we love reading memoirs and autobiographies. We both agreed that one of the top reasons why we love them is because we love stories, especially life stories. It’s something that everyone can relate to in one way or another because we are all living out our life story every day.
I love reading memoirs because I find it interesting to see what people remember as meaningful events in their lives. To me it might seem like a mundane event, but to the author it was a major event. I think that everyone looks at their own life differently than how an outsider would perceive it. This may be an obvious statement, but I think it’s important.
Memory is so interesting, because it is rarely based on solid fact. For me, memories are more like feelings. A song might trigger a certain feeling from a certain time and then that will lead to a memory, though I know it can’t be an exact memory – it’s more a distortion of my past as seen through the lens of my present. It is also sometimes difficult for me to distinguish between a memory that exists because of a prompt from a picture and a memory that exists without a prompt. A completely pure memory.
Amy and I talked about how we want to write memoirs of our own lives at some point, to have a record of what we did, what we thought and what we can remember. A physical record of our lives. My Grandpa wrote out his life story and published it as a memoir. It is such a neat thing to have, to read about his life from his perspective.
As a project, I’m going to start collecting my memories in a more permanent way. This blog is a great archive of memories from the past few years, but I also want to spend some time and think back over my life thus far and write down important (and mundane) things that I can remember from childhood and on. My memories will be more fresh now than if I leave this project for when I am old. I want to capture the memories now.
I think that my very first memory is of sitting at the top of the basement stairs in the first house I ever lived in and feeling a tingle run through my knee. This memory is vague, I was probably 3, but I’m pretty sure it’s real. And that’s where I’ll begin.