We hear it all the time: people we know getting older, their memory slipping through their fingers like sand; each grain another moment, another time in their life forgotten.
Or maybe you’ve experienced it now. You can’t quite remember the name of the city on the coast of Italy that you loved visiting so much. The name of your best friend from middle school effortlessly evades you.
It’s bound to happen to all of us; we only have so much room in our mental vault for storing our life memories. At one point in time, we’re going to start to forget some of the most significant parts of our journey on this planet.
That’s why I write. That’s why you should write. That’s why we all should write.
Putting our memories down on to a physical medium that will be engraved for us to forever look back on is doing our future selves a great service.
So I implore you: begin writing down your most significant memories.
Start with the ones from your childhood; the ones that feel like they impacted your life most as it is today.
Perhaps your parent’s divorce was traumatic. Maybe you shared your younger years with a loving grandmother that taught you a unique perspective on life. Perhaps you went on a unique adventure that, through the eyes of a child, was magical, to say the least.
Write that all down. Write down all of the smells, feelings, sights you saw, and people you spent the time with. Write down every detail you can possibly remember. The more real the story seems, the more that you can vicariously re-live your memories through your writing, the better.
Write for no one else but you
Don’t be concerned if other people will like your story. Don’t be worried if you will even publish them all anywhere: that’s not the point of why you’re doing this.
Simply put onto paper (or computer) everything that you remember in whatever way you want to tell it; a way that yourself relates to, not other people.
And don’t be afraid to tell the story as you saw it. Your perspective on your memories is what truly matters; not the objective view of it all. Because, as I said, these stories are for you and you only. Even if you do decide to publish them, your perspective was your reality. Again, that’s all the matters.
Don’t worry about editing, you can do that later
When you’re recalling a story, type as fast as you’re able to in sync with your thoughts. This method of writing is called stream-of-consciousness. Whatever comes to your mind, write it down. Don’t get hung up on using a fancier word or looking up specifics, you’ll have time for that once you get your story down.
Because there’s nothing worse than having an idea or concise thought and then experiencing it disappear in a matter of seconds because you were too focused on spelling a word correctly.
Get all of your ideas down and edit afterward.
You’re creating something pictures can’t
Sure, a photo speaks a thousand words. But writing speaks all those words with details that will never be forgotten.
A picture is a great visual memory, but stories can express more about an experience than simple images ever could. And with technology nowadays, your writing can be accessed anywhere in the world you go to.
Your future self will thank you
You will never wake up regretting you wrote down your most cherished and significant memories. But you sure as hell will wake up one day and be sorry that you didn’t.
Our memories are ours alone to be responsible for. Think of them as receipts or essential documents. If you don’t keep careful track of them, they’ll eventually be lost amongst the chaos.
Our mind works the same way, we experience new memories everyday. Sure, we may remember things in a general sense, but the details will eventually stray, and we’ll be left with a vague idea of what happened, sometimes with the details even getting skewed.
Though none of us want to think of getting old, it will eventually happen. And if we take our life into our own hands, we can put in the work to forever remember the most extraordinary moments in our lives.
So write down your memories and avoid losing them forever.