Good afternoon dear readers. After plenty of pre-deadline anxieties, post-deadline finger crossing and post-post-deadline relaxation, I am back in the land of the productive!
Recently, I’ve been mapping a rough timeline of my life. The exercise started as a running joke between a few friends, one of which told us last summer about his previously unknown and very colourful dating history. The sudden influx of information was hefty and names were soon forgotten (“Which one was the drug dealer?” becoming a frequent question). We eventually suggested it might be easier if said friend just made a timeline about it, and threw on any other funny things they could – and many months later, he delivered a full timeline of birth to present day. It was quite interesting to read, not least because you can know someone for over a decade and still have plenty to learn. A second friend followed suit with his own timeline (in a much more timely fashion) and so a few weeks ago, it became a case of “Well Tom, you’d better do one now”. I considered refusing – after all, I already knew everything that happened to me, and I’d been friends with these people through most of the interesting parts of my life so far – but it’s not like I’ve had anything productive to do since the start of the month, so off I went.
I can say, without a doubt, it’s been a really interesting experience. I’d certainly recommend it to anyone, regardless of age – especially as what you consider a “major life event” will change as you come back to the timeline. If I’d done this as a kid, I’m sure I could have filled the first 16 years with all sorts of silly goings on – school, family and friends being such a big part of my life. But at 26 the timeline is honestly pretty bare before 2009, save the birth of siblings and a girl I dated for a few weeks in primary school who deleted my Pókemon Blue save file (I’m clearly not quite over that). There’s been a fair bit of pestering my Mum for dates of things, any other interesting events and of course some rigorous Facebook searching for names of friends and peers.
There’s something weird about seeing it all laid out before you – shit, this is me – but it’s been a great walk down memory lane and an opportunity for reflection and appreciation on the person I’ve been and the person I am now.