lessons in nostalgia

The funny thing about writing a memoir is that you can’t so much write it based on today’s mentality. I’m sitting here in my favorite Internet cafe of sorts by my new place typing away. I’m making up for lost ground from today (and then some more), as I returned from the game with my head throbbing way too much to even think about pulling open my laptop or considering tackling this big November-long project.

I’ve been sitting here ciphering through all of my old messages in GMail. If you pull up my account (and I surely hope you can’t or else there’s a bigger problem here…), you would see my inbox has thousands of messages. I can’t let most of them go though, as they chronicle my life more indepth than this blog or any journal ever has. It has the real stuff, the meat that often gets edited out for inclusion here. The stuff you need when you’re writing a real story.

And the funny thing is that one of the things I learned and took away from my memoir class is that even though you’re writing about real people, you still have to present them from a balanced perspective – even though the guy may be someone who turned out to be a massive scumbag who you don’t want to be positive about.

And as I sit here reading through messages, I’m remembering. I’m remembering why I had these people in my life for such an extended period of time. Why they made an impact. Why they were once so important to me.

I’m looking at photos we attached in communications. Articles we shared. And remembering the all-too-important sequence of events that is critical as you chronicle the order within a storyline.

And slowly, the story’s coming together (even as I take a detour to type this post). I was worried my memory which used to be all-so-detailed would fail me in it’s spotty state to make this something possible – but my inbox is bringing it back. Bringing it all back.

It’s funny but there’s something really comforting in remembering all of that. Kind of like pulling out my old blankie from when I was younger and the smell of years gone by. So even surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the coffeeshop packed to the brim, I’m focused on another time… and November 2008? It’s suspended for just a little while longer…


2 thoughts on “lessons in nostalgia

  1. when I was living in both Luxembourg and Poland, my father saved every single email I sent him. he burned them all onto a cd for me. I love going through and reading them, because, some of the little things? surely I’ve forgotten by now. I have this somewhat lofty goal to turn them into a book…I’m not sure when/if that might happen…

  2. That’s so cool. Something like that will definitely come in handy if you decide to write something. Helps you remember little bits and pieces and definitely helps with the timeline, which can get tricky!

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