I’ve been scouring the internet for other people’s transition narratives, and I couldn’t really explain to myself why it was so important to me … but I think that at least part of the reason is that my memory is really shitty. I’ve moved around a lot since leaving for college, and it feels like every time I move, I need to reinvent myself. Everything else that isn’t the Present Time fades very quickly into a nebulous past and it’s very hard for me to draw any sort of conclusion about the people that I used to be because … what the fuck even was I? What was I like? I remember only in the foggy way that I also remember dreams. It’s making planning for a future very difficult because I know there are things that I like and want now, but they’re not the same things that I liked and wanted when I was still in school, and which one of those is “real”? Which one is more valid?
Knowing what the problem is likely to be means that then I can work on a solution. Right now, my solution is to track down all of my blog posts and journal entries and try to get them together in one spot. I kept a journal religiously from the ages of 8 to 20 or so. It dropped off after that, but I still have my blogs, my photographs. I used to have hundreds of text messages saved - I wrote them out onto paper, tangible proof that I had friends who cared about me. I printed out IM conversations that I had with my then-girlfriend to prove that she was real.
Once I’d … recovered from that period of my life, for lack of a better word, I threw out those pages of text messages, and most of the IM conversations. I now kind of regret that, even though I know it’s healthier this way to not be able to pore over interactions from the past. But I’m so grateful for those blog entries. I’m grateful that I have my journals, even if they’re spectacularly unhelpful at times.
The really Type A part of me wants to create a massive binder of photos and scrapbooking pages and journal entries organized by year so that everything will be in the same place next time I have an identity crisis and forget who I am, but that would be a lot of effort and a lot of dead trees, so we’ll see.