Recall- Personal Archives and Building a Story of Self

It’s so easy to be blinded by present circumstances. In the post-grad struggle to find balance, and a career, things often feel too catastrophic to handle. What I realized I needed was a check-in with my own archive up to now, my own story. Just in my head, it’s difficult to cast back the net and pull up mid-August 2013, but with my journal archive, where I’ve collected my ideas for four-ish years now, I could find that in fact I was working on a 30-page paper about my experiences working with the First Nations Health Authority in Vancouver. That was a great internship at an even better organization, but wow- I’m so glad I’m not writing that paper right now. Another journal says that in 2012 I was in Vancouver, but struggling with body-image issues. Another says that last year (definitely better than this one on paper) I was on a boat up desolation sound eating apple pie I had baked with my mother from windfall apples. This took some time, and it would have been easy to just fall into old emotions and not take anything but nostalgia away from the exercise, but instead I found that I could see my growth when I looked back. I could see that over this past year, even if I don’t have an apple pie in my fridge at the moment, I have so many new experiences that have shaped me as a person. I can feel that I’m in a good trend- which makes it easier to keep going.

It strikes me that stories of self can be built in many ways. Mine up to now has been primarily through hand-written journals, but moving forward will fold this blog into it as well, and ideally more photos and drawings. How do you build a story of self? Tweets? The Facebook machine? Maybe your own blog or archived text message conversations- I’d love to know