Wednesday, 21 November 2007

History doesn't have to be ancient

First of all – sorry for the “blog-neglect”. I am still alive and well, actually but it’s just that things have been a bit hectic lately!

Lately I’ve also been thinking about history, more specifically my own history. I have never been a heritage scrapbooker and don’t actually own any old photos – I’ve said before that my mom has her own enormous albums where she has all her memories and my grandmother has few old photos but they are up on her walls. So as far as I’m concerned my family history is well looked after and I don’t feel the need to mess with that.

The history I mean is my own past, the stories from when I was growing up and before I left Mexico. That part of my life sometimes feels like a distant dream to me, of living in a place where it was always hot or hotter, where I had lots of friends I could speak to any time, a time when I actually spoke more Spanish than English, a time when I seemed to have boyfriend after boyfriend. I am a prolific diary writer though and have kept a record of all those years from the time I was 11 years old, so it’s not all lost. I just don’t have any photos of any of it but it doesn’t matter: I have boxes and boxes of journals and even scrapbooks that document my past.

Thing is, that past has tended to stay, well, in the past. I guess because I moved away so far, it seems like the past is over and a new chapter is being written, with new characters, locations and stories. I never ever run into my old school friends at the supermarket or church or anything so their lives (for the most part) are a complete mystery to me. I still keep in touch with a lot of really good friends from High School and University but outside that circle, all those people that I was friends with have suddenly disappeared and rarely if ever pop up into this new chapter.

I guess I must be getting old but I find that some days I wonder whatever became of X who I was such good friends with in 6th grade. She wanted more than anything to be a dancer and I know that she even formed part of a moderately successful girl group but where is she now? Or what about Y who was my boyfriend for, like, EVER but we broke up in not so nice circumstances and lost touch. What is he up to these days? Does he still hate me? What about all those nice people I met while working in Disney and have now gone back to their countries?

Like these there are tons of stories from my past that tend to stay in the past mainly because I am so far from the places where these stories took place. If I was back home I could probably drive to my friend X’s parents’ house and they may still live in the same place and might be able to tell me how to get in touch. Being far away certainly doesn’t help.

About 5 months ago I discovered a very handy tool to help me overcome the distance and locate some of these people from the past: Facebook. Like a lot of people I thought that social networking was for “the kids” and MySpace quite frankly wasn’t my style. FB appealed to me as it feels more grown up while still allowing a certain element of personalization. Anyway, I quickly became a fan and have been having a lot of fun tracking down people from the past and getting up to speed with whatever became of their lives. It’s like attending a school reunion except that I don’t have to worry about what I look like (as long as I find a nice photo of me!). It’s been fantastic to be able to catch up not only with new friends but with some long-lost characters from my past – some of them halfway around the world!

I have also channelled this new-found interest in my past by putting together some pages for my BOM that talk about bringing my past into my present and bringing the world to my PC. I’ve also started to write in my diaries again – I never really stopped but the gap between entries was getting longer and longer. I realize now that these diaries and journals and even scrapbooks are an important part of my history that needs to be kept. For whom? I’m not sure yet but one thing I do know is that my ex-boyfriend Y doesn’t actually hate me. At least not anymore!

PS. if anyone out there is also on FB, check me out!

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