My mother told me I should start keeping a diary, because if I didn't try and preserve my memories I might just forget them. I'd either completely forget those moments or retain only the negative ones, and that's worse than having none at all. I laughed when she told me that, and said, “Well it's true, most of my memories are of when people scared me.” I must have really frightened her, I was only joking, but she looked at me piercingly and simply asked, “Please?”. I didn't want to. I'm not in the fourth grade anymore, did she want me to talk to an abyss of blank papers like a friend? Dear Diary. Those two words just sounded foolish to my ears. But I had to. The small 'please' sealed the deal. I knew it. She knew it. So that was the moment when I decided. No, I wasn't going to talk to a book, I was going to talk to people. I was going to share my experiences with the world like Laura Ingalls Wilder and James Herriot did. Except that I'm not so sure how. It's hard to put fifteen years worth of video footage into a two hour documentary, but its even harder to decided which moments are important enough. My stories probably won't come out in chronological order, being that memories don't exactly come with an inked publication date, but they will all come. Many writers have yet to realize that real people hold the keys to the worlds' best plot lines. All it took was one ride on the subway for me to realize it. Each person that got on and off the train had their own story. They had a place they were headed, a place they were from, and a place they were at. Some people don't like the place they're at, but they must have gotten there somehow. Criminals and Nobel prize winners are not born as criminals or Nobel prize winners, those are spots that are earned. We all have the potential to go either way, it's your choice. The slums that a person was born into can turn him into a fugitive. Or, they can make him a man who is much more driven than the rest of us. This is a guy who's already been on the wrong side of the tracks, and he knows it's not a place that he wants to be forever. Memories and past experiences are a part of that. They're a tool, a device which a person can use to achieve heights he didn't dream possible. So I'm going to write down mine, and share them. I don't want to be a character in a story I regret reading. I want to shine.
We Are Who We Are
August 11, 2011