A few years ago I saw a news article about a new social media website called “This”.
The idea behind it was kind of like an anti-twitter or anti-facebook (both can be a never ending avalanche of content). The idea was that you could only share one thing per day, so it was best to spend a bit more time considering what was worth sharing with that one daily share slot. That exercise helps put things into better perspective.
Over the last year and a bit, I’ve been doing something kind of similar to this idea. I started a journal/daily log loosely dubbed my “best self of the day moment”, so at the end of each day, I did my best to remember everything that happened that day, everything I did, everything I experienced, and try to decide which moment or action seemed like I was at my best (either doing my best, or feeling my best).
It’s interesting for me to think about those sayings like “live every day to the fullest” or “try to be your best self every day”, and so that was part of what gave birth to this experiment.
It’s so easy (especially when you lead a busy urban life) to forget so much of what you do or experience day to day, so even keeping very basic track of things can be incredibly enlightening further down the road. In fact, at the end of last year, I went through and made a list of the best memories I had from each week, so effectively I had 52 “best memories” for the year. It would really be something to have that sort of record through your whole life, or even just post high school or post college.
I know there are journaling apps or some people use actual physical journals, but I personally prefer doing a quick point form record in digital form. At this point that’s partially because I’ve been manually tracking a lot of personal data for over a year and I kind of want to simplify and spend more time just living and less time and energy worrying about keeping track of everything. Some data is valuable, and I’ve been trying to confirm which and forget the rest.
Like I said, it can be easy to forget a lot of things, and we tend to spend more time thinking about our problems and how to solve them, and less time on our accomplishments or even just the happy little moments. In reviewing my notes to compile that weekly best of, it reminded me of several things I’d forgotten.
As much as I have been trying to “live in the present” more, that can have its downsides. Sometimes I find I get so stuck in the present that I lose sight of the positives that got me to this moment, as well as being blind to what is waiting right around the corner. Review and forecasting are both important in addition to being aware in the moment.
I’ve always been a curator, though a much more intentional one over the last five years. When I began my transition a year ago, I started a new folder on my hard drive where I effectively began organizing my new life and identity.
A lot of the first year was just finding my style, so it was a combination of pictures of myself, and pictures of other people/styles that I liked and wanted to emulate.
That folder has blossomed considerably, but I can still remember making some of the first few folders. Also, everything is date stamped, so if I had the time and inclination (I definitely don’t have the time), I could actually go and piece together my transition moment by moment, day by day.
I got thinking about the This website again, and thought maybe it would be interesting to give it a try, to look back in another year from now and see what the most significant 365 things were to me. I just went to find that website now to give it a look but it appears to have been discontinued, sadly.
I know that Facebook’s “On This Day” feature provides a bit of this kind of function, except it doesn’t only show you positives. And it’s not isolated from everything else.
However, with facebook’s help, I had begun to compile something else, which for convenience and clarity sake I just dubbed my “meaningful memes” collection. It was a combination of specifically LGBTQ related saves, as well as some political stuff, some sense of humour stuff, etc. It was essentially me attempting to compile a collection of “me in a nutshell” in meme form. A quick, easy, visual way for new friends (or potential partners) to get to know me better and find common ground.
Given that I’m typically a very visually oriented person, and very expressive, this has been an enjoyable and useful exercise, though some people have said that they don’t like the idea that they’d be expected to comb through this collection to get to know me, they wouldn’t want to have to do that kind of “homework”. Personally, if I was interested in someone and they told me to look through a folder of stuff they’d curated that speaks highly to them, I’d be up for it.
I started thinking about compiling a collection like “Get to know Lacey in 50 memes or less”, but once I started sifting, I realized 50 memes was way more than necessary, I have a folder now labeled “Top 10” which currently contains 30, so i’ll see if I can pare it down some more.
Part of my struggle with this is if I’m not at my home computer when I see a meme that resonates very strongly with me, I may save it to my phone but then forget it’s there for weeks. So that’s why I have to intentionally sit down one day and go through with intentionality (as I did when I went from 50 to 30).
I look forward to sharing that when it’s ready, but for now, I share the concept for your benefit.