Every so often, I take the time to take stock of my life. It’s an incredibly rewarding exercise. It can also be humbling. Either way, it’s something I recommend for everyone. I am fortunate; I have a lot of content. I’ve been writing in a journal since I was 17 years old. I have photographs (and even some videos) that date back to before I was born. I have a sturdy box of keepsakes. And I have my memories. Taking stock grounds me in a way that keeps me from being too full of myself (to varying degrees of failure and success), a reminder of how much more I need and want to do. Taking stock also elevates me to all that I have already accomplished, and the lives I have affected (as well as how they’ve affected me).
I find it funny, interesting actually, in this digital age where lives (i.e. the life we want to portray) are shared over social media, and for some people, it seems, life began with sharing words and pictures on FaceBook. When I pour over my life, and then think about the lives of my parents and the generation before me, life certainly began much further back. What are words scribbled in an old notebook worth? What are old, grainy pictures worth? And what about old video footage?
My friend Eric developed a free app called Heirloom that allows you to scan old pictures after which you can share them privately via the app, or share with your version of your world amongst your social media platforms.
As I mentioned, I’ve been pouring over old photo albums of late. The walk down memory lane has just been nourishing for my soul. So many great memories. So many great stories. So many good times with dear family and friends. The other night, I used the Heirloom app to upload some old pictures onto FaceBook and Instagram; and I even emailed a few to friends over email. The email exchanges since have brought a huge smile to my face. It’s amazing what a single image can evoke, the memories it brings back, and the community it (re)creates, even among the people you hold most dear in your life. It’s an expression of love.
Eric’s “mantra since we started has been, ‘The need to remember is almost primal.’ It’s very deeply felt. It goes back very far in human history – the very beginnings of oral tradition being passed down. Heirloom is for sharing and connecting with the people we care about, but it also helps us construct and maintain a self-identity.”
Taking stock of my life has been wonderful. Memory Lane never looked so good.
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