I think that was the show that started it for me. It was nineteen ninety. September. I booted up my Apple IIe one evening, started up PFS: write, and started typing three lines of text. Here, for your amusement (or pain, whichever) are those three lines:
(9/10/90) Well, here I am again, trying to start a journal. Hopefully, I'll be able to actually keep it. A__ just transferred to Kearny, leaving me with no one to talk to. I had an interesting weekend. Watched a movie, played Moonwalker (Michael Jackson's), chewed someone else's gum (P___'s), and saw the group again. Not necessarily in that order. Well, the group got smaller. Just the diehards. Me, A__, K___, and P___. I have no idea why I'm attracted to her. I just am. It's either stupidity or luck--bad luck. Which is about the only luck I ever get.
Obviously, that went on for longer than three lines. Also, I managed to keep a journal fairly religiously since then. I’m missing a month or two, but nothing larger than that. The journal spans two inches of printed dot-matrix computer paper, two spiral bound college ruled notebooks, two spiral bound art journals, a black leather “walking” journal, a small yellow shorthand pad, one dream journal, one work journal, one Multi User Creation Kit site (my geekiness knows no bounds–my SO and I at the time even coded removable clothing), and one web based publishing tool.
When you write down everything, it’s hard to lose anything. When you have the date of your first kiss–May 9, 1992, the day you lost your virginity–October 30, 1992, and the day that Joe Lopez and Terry had to kiss for play practice and we all giggled like little schoolgirls, because that’s what we were (I participated in several productions at the all girls’s high school near mine–mainly for the fact that there were girls there. In catholic uniforms. I thought they were sexy before everyone thought they were sexy.)–September 18, 1991–it’s hard not to think about how much you’ve changed. (And how much you haven’t–I still think those outfits are sexy.)
Recording everything, whether it’s pen to paper or little magnetic dots on a tape–it’s important. Looking over the old journals, I find that there’s a lot of things that I’ve learned about friendship, love, sex, work, girls, women, parents, college and writing.
The funny thing is that now, I can finally read them and learn something about me.
I like who I am. I can look back at my history and see all of my mistakes (the ones I chose to record), all of my ridiculous worries, fears, and doubts and know undeniably that I have had a singular experience.
Now, thousands upon thousands keep blogs. Some people, I know. The majority, I don’t.
These bloggers are incredibly diverse. All have different stories. All have different lives.
But they all sit at a keyboard at some point in the day and record their life. Doogie Howser found one thing each day that’s important.
Our lives aren’t scripted–but there are lessons to be learned each day. Something special happens each day. Recording it all just helps us to remember it.