We’ve officially hit the one-month mark before graduation, which is uncanny and, frankly, sounds fake. I should not have one more month. I should have one more year, right? Or four? Sometimes I picture myself as a member of the political rally, shouting at the incumbent president—“Four more years! Four more years!” Part of me still feels like that high school senior standing on the edge of a new life that I couldn’t know would be great. Part of me looks back at old pictures and writing from that time and knows I am distinctly separate from that person.
I’ve been thinking a lot about documentation, actually. The way I document life; or, specifically, the way I’ve failed to document it.
I started out freshman year with a college diary, so to speak, in which I wrote every other night. Over the course of freshman year, every other night turned into once a week, every other week, once a month. By the end of my sophomore year, I had almost dropped off completely. I keep telling myself that I will go back and fill in the gaps as much as I can, but at the same time I am weighed down by hundreds of clocks that tick out lost days and lost memories.
The same problem haunts this very blog. I started out sophomore year with a goal to publicly “diary” my thoughts in order to produce more readable writing, keep myself on a schedule, and create something to look back on after college. Seeing as this is my first entry in three months, obviously the goal has disintegrated over time.
It’s frustrating, honestly, but it also feels like an exponential problem; the more time passes, the more guilty I feel about not recording my time, and the more I am resistant to catalogue the months I’ve missed. I’m not sure why documentation feels so important to me. College will have happened whether or not there are photos and words capturing it. But college is a large concept. College will exist, but will the smaller moments? If I don’t capture the moment stranger hands me a red rose, or the night a friend buys me beer and junk food, if I forget these things, did they exist?
Because I will forget them. I’ve already forgotten so much. As a writer, I am obsessive about recording, always recording, so that I may remember—and I’m worried that the freshest moments and authenticity of surprisingness have already begun to crystallize in my memory.
My new goal is to write one of these posts every week until I leave this place, so that, if nothing else, my last month here exists in writing somewhere. Maybe it’s futile to try snaring living moments as they pass, but I feel like I owe it to myself to try. Hold me to it.