What is the purpose of a ten year reunion? To catch up. To compare and contrast, note the changes. It is to critique every minute detail. It is a self check base for the last ten years of success where you get to compare it to everybody else.
Won’t we have plenty of time for a full self assessment in our eighties?
I am studying The Princess Bride at uni and I am realising the importance of writing forewords in books. Not for the readers, but for the author themselves. A foreword allows the author to return to their work and analyse and reflect on it and themselves. I think it also is a reminder of what goals we have set in ourselves. Sometimes this reflection can be positive and sometimes it can be negative.
Well. I just came across several folders containing all of my writing from over ten years ago. From the teenage era. From the age of raging hormones and bad driving. From the wonder years of daydreaming and dreams.
So, I would like to welcome you to this time capsule; I would like to welcome you to my ten year reunion with myself!
There is one interesting memoir in particular that I would like to share with you. The reason I think that you will enjoy this as much as I have is because of the completely naive and egocentric spirit of the piece.
For example, on the first line I demand your attention:
I’ll go on shall I, Tracie?
“If I am going to be written down in history then people will want to try to understand me and what I wrote… well to make it easier for these future historians (hehehe) I’m going to give a general explanation for my creative writings”.
See what I mean? I have, in the first paragraph: demanded your attention, assumed I will be famous and important, assumed people would be reading my very important words, made a funny and laughed at myself (“future historians”) and decided to ‘do you a favour’ by writing it all down for you so that your job as an audience member in my microcosmic melodrama is easier!!!
“Firstly, this explanation is inspired from The Diary Of Anne Frank. Anne knew she was something and had inspirations, as I do. And if I die tomorrow, I want my last words too. So here I go…”
Wow. I really must have felt empathy for Anne. That’s right. First name basis. Brings back that feeling of being stuck in a cupboard. Thats the teenage years for you I suppose.
“A lot of the poems and songs I would like to thanks Mark, the main inspiration for the endless piles of love songs…oh and hate poems. Also my closest friend Hayley and the people who happened to inspire the way I looked at the human race… plus the many more to come”.
Hmm, not so bad. Very dutiful, I have thanked you all before you even knew you would need to be thanked! I have even thanked the people I would meet in my future who would not just befriend me but be a fan of my writing. That includes you! Very dutiful. I hope that you appreciate my dutifulness.
Now this gets particularly snobby! Ready? Wait for it:
“Please, I beg of you, don’t let any dumb historians try to figure me out. I had enough trouble trying to figure out who I was…good luck”.
Bahhahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahaa!! Need I say more.
“Also, throughout my growing-upness, I urged the deep deep feeling to be famous, or noticed, or successful etc. That’s why a lot of ‘my work’ is dramatic. In most the feelings are straight from the heart all over, but in some, I may have felt a general way, but had worked on the idea less emotionally”.
Very self critical of my hypothetical writing career. Hmm, writing an explanation for a future explanation of a hypothetical career success: is that deconstruction or simply plain absurdist?
“A lot of my work was written mainly because I couldn’t sleep (like this was) and/or because I had a lot of deep emotion at the surface (which is probably why I couldn’t sleep) and could not possibly express it”.
Wow. Fair enough. Dam those raging hormones.
“I normally found that even after I wrote something, it still felt as though I hadn’t expressed all feelings inside. Sometimes what came out on the paper was completely different to what was in my head – but I settled for it anyway to satisfy the moment”.
Incommunicado? I don’t think I understood the creative process. Maybe I still don’t. I will put that on my list of things to do.
“(Am currently listening to the song ‘Loser’ Beck…hmmm)”
“In conclusion, if these writings are not printed or released before I die (which will probably happen because only dead people become famous anyway, that’s history for ya…) I wish that someone would please deliver these as I would to the world, in my advice.
1st October 2003″.
How depressing! Why was I worried I was going to die? It is not like I was in a rock band, taking drugs and 27 years old! I was sitting at home in my room writing things like this! I mean teenagers are like that I suppose, crying out for attention. I’m glad my writing folder listened to me.
But wait- there’s more! The ‘P.S.’s’ go on longer that the explanation!
” P.S. If you are unaware who a poem may be about or would like to reference something in comparison to my life or the world at this time – Hayley and Karen will probably know or could tell or guess” .
Hahaha! Sorry girls, it’s in the will! People will want to know about my writing soon. Lock your doors. Hire security. Don’t put your phone numbers in the phone book.
And yet, I was well aware of my position and perspective at the time:
“P.P.S. The whole idea that I could die tomorrow is an attitude many do take today. Sometimes as an excuse to live a good life and do what you want compared to the conventional ways, but I personally, along with this excuse, fear death, as I want to carry out many things in my life. To me, car crashes, terrorist attacks and HIV aids, meningococcal and cancer are my man fears. I see my life as a huge opportunity many take for granted or are deprived of, due to self inflictions like drugs etc., or because they are born with a disability”.
SERIOUSLY? Why was I scared of HIV aids?? Once again: I was sitting at home in my room writing things like this!
It is so interesting that I valued my life so much as a teenager. I was aware of how lucky I was which in actual fact was a way to stop myself getting down about the fact that it took a lot of strength for me to not feel deprived, to feel normal in a family where not normal things had happened. I was dealing strength with myself like a blackjack cracker on smack!
“…my writings were mainly based on love and feelings that I felt whilst growing up… all I want is to love somebody and be loved. It’s just never enough!”
Naw what a nice little ending I wrote there. It is so profound, yet boring.
I really am having trouble trying to understand why I wrote an explanation for my writing before anyone had even seen my writing! It’s very Princess Diary-esque. I guess I needed to move on from that part of my life. I needed to let go of a few things. I was embracing the change, starting the engine on my new life as an almost-twenty-year-old and revving the engine at the red traffic lights, screaming COME ON GO GREEEEEEEN!
Well, thankyou for attending my ten year reunion with myself. It wasn’t that embarrassing in the end. We reminisced, reflected and laughed, so I couldn’t have hoped for anything more. I hope you got a good laugh out of this post. I sure did.
One last thing, just to sum up: I must say that two sections from my memoir still remain false and two still remain true:
1. “I am scared of HIV aids”.
2. “I am scared of meningococcal”.
1. “All I want is to love somebody and be loved. It’s just never enough!”
2. “Please, I beg of you, don’t let any dumb historians try to figure me out. I had enough trouble trying to figure out who I was…good luck”.