When Am I?

I had thought maybe I would do a “Five Years Ago Today” entry, or ten years, or fifteen. (I’ve kept a journal of some sort ever since 1984, mainly at the suggestion of my mother at first, then kept it up to keep myself grounded and sane.) When I looked through my journals, though, nothing exciting really happened on or around September 26 in 2001, or 1996, or 1991.

As a snapshot: Around this time in 1986, I was ten years old. I was getting over a nasty bout of headlice, during which Mom had to cut off five inches of my hair, to make the fine-toothed-combing easier. I was distraught; when I pulled my hair around over my shoulder, “it barely came to my elbow!” Cry me a river.

Also in September 1986, I joined Girl Scouts. I also read the Star Trek novel Uhura’s Song for the second time. I’ve read that same battered copy literally dozens of times since, and can quote several passages as well as I can quote Monty Python.

Fifteen years ago, in 1991, I was quite the church-going lass. For example: I was reflecting on a lesson on gratitude, and decided to write my high school choir director a letter of appreciation for all she was doing for the choir. She ended up receiving the letter on a day when she really needed the pick-me-up, which did my little Freshman 15-year-old heart good.

I was also interested in composing, and had high aspirations for my music. I’d given a copy of one of my choral scores to the aforementioned choir director, and she said she was going to have the choir sing it… but she never did.

Ten years ago, in 1996, I was hanging out with Aaron and with the Mary/Mark duo. I had also started my personal homepage, giving out my “Di’s Unegotistical Homepage” weekly award to none other than Jeffrey Zeldman Presents. I was also missing my late stepdad, Tom, who had passed away almost one year before. Aaron was always supportive and understanding, and helped me be OK with being all weepy about it sometimes.

Five years ago, in 2001, I had one semester left of my undergrad. I had just moved off-campus, and wasn’t journaling much — on paper, anyway. I may have done some “Talking To Myself” on my trusty Mac, although I’m not inclined to hook that bad boy up right now to see what’s on it. (Yes, I still have it — or at least, a later incarnation of it. I believe I upgraded to my PowerPC 6500 after the year 2001.)

Edit: I actually do have my Word file of random ramblings on my PC, transferred with all my half-finished short stories. The entry for September 26, 2001 begins:

I should learn not to talk wedding with Aaron over the phone. It’s never a good thing. He always gets "realistic" on me, saying such confidence-boosters as "I’m going to have to get a second job," and "maybe we should just go down to City Hall," or my personal favorite: "We’ll get married… eventually."

I’d forgotten that I was thinking about wedding planning at that point, too. Another good quotable from that entry:

I’m so upset, in fact, that I’ve just spent the past two hours researching cost-cutting tips on the internet instead of writing my four-to-five-page script for Video class. And Aaron always says, "graduation comes first, then getting a job, then getting married." I know, I know. Life won’t stop while I try to find a job, though, and it certainly won’t wait for us to plan our little wedding. Or decide when it will actually be held.

What struck me as I was browsing these entries was how I’ve changed throughout the years. It’s obvious through my writing when I became the person I am today, for the most part. I matured through high school, as does everyone — I was painfully dorky in my Freshman year of high school, in retrospect. By 1996, my writing flowed a lot like it does today, and my brain seemed to think much like it does now. I know I was less responsible, more self-centered, less realistic… but I think that, by age 20, I was “me.” Maybe even before that.

That makes me wonder: when I get even older, will I still agree that I was “me” by age 20? Or will I have reached some sort of personal epiphany between now and older that makes age 20 seem even more childish?

3 thoughts on When Am I?

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  1. When I was twenty your husband and I started hanging out together. Personally I don’t worry about what I was like yesteryear or what will I be like next year or later…with one foot in yesterday and one in tomorrow, I piss on today. So I have to live for today and tomorrow will happen when it does.

  2. there’s also something to be said for learning from your past. if you don’t remember it and learn from it, you’re doomed to repeat it.

    i don’t say to dwell on things you can’t change. but there’s nothing wrong with some occasional introspection to remind you of who you were, and who you’ve become as a result.

  3. It’s hard to believe We were in BG 10 years ago… I still think it was a year ago…
    BTW- I KNEW Aaron was going to marry you. I always wondered when.