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time passing

i've had this livejournal for over eight years now.

in general i can be a packrat, both in real life and virtually. i hold a lot of sentimental value to physical objects that trigger memories, i keep old versions of music files, stories, assignments from college just for the sake of having them even if i never intend on opening them again - and maybe someday i will.

I know a lot of people that have taken their LJ accounts and either purged them, either by deleting all of the entries or by deleting the journal and transferring to a new username. It was something i never understood for a long time, not just because of my packrat nature, but because of how much i felt that history meant to me, that to wipe record of what i was about five years ago or six years ago was to destroy an important part of me.

now i find myself in a place that's very in between these two mentalities. On the one hand, that history is still incredibly important to me, helps define the person that i am now, how i've gotten to where i am. On the other hand, i'm so far removed from that past, having matured and changed a great deal from when i first started this blogging journey that i have no desire to look back at some of those entries, particularly some of the more painful and emotional ones, because there isn't much point in reflecting back on those moments. Reading those past entries wouldn't be reflection or even nostalgia. I've learned everything i could from those past experiences and am a different person now.

so now it makes more sense to me that people would want to shed that, delete it, create a new chapter that doesn't get stuck in the past. But at the same time, it still doesn't feel right for me to do it myself. for one thing, the fact that all of that history exists on this blogspace doesn't do any harm because it's lost in the shuffle. it's unlikely that someone is going to find some random entry from my early years unless they're looking specifically for it, and it's even less likely that doing such will create a strong enough false impression of who i am vs. who i were that it makes a difference. the internet has become so big, blogging has become so big, that i'm just one in a crowd of millions. and a lot of my entries are nonsense.

but more importantly, even though i may not want to go back and read it, i still acknowledge and pay homage to those experiences that make me who i am now, both good and bad. by keeping those entries on here, even if i never them again, to me gives those entries a measure of respect that they deserve, because even if they aren't important to anyone else because frankly i'm not a terribly important person in the grand scheme of things, they're still important to me and define me.

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truthmonkey42
Aug. 30th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Archiving the past...
I don't even know if it was a matter of wanting to "delete" the past, or even to start "a new chapter" - but I did archive my LJ's via http://www.ljbook.com/

A lot of the stuff that was in there was through a lot of life-events that I have no desire to re-experience, ever - but I did copy them out to a .PDF and store in a couple of "safe" places, should I ever want to go back and read them, or someday share with someone who wants/needs the insight and growth that I experienced through those events as a reference or support. That may sound narcissistic - but you never know what in your life may give some light to someone searching in the dark... There is much to be said for hanging onto the milestones we record of the journey to get to where/who we are now...

--R

girfan
Aug. 30th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
I've made most of my entries private (2008 and back) so only I can read them. I certainly wouldn't want to purge them!
petal_abstract
Aug. 30th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
time passing
I pretty feel exactly the same way. I am painfully sentimental and nostalgic. I hang on to everything that invokes a memory because I am irrationally afraid of losing the memory that is attached to the onject if I throw it away. I also love other peoples' memories just as much as I own.
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