My current writing project involves letters. Letters that I wrote to a boyfriend over the course of many years. I recently reread a letter I wrote to him when I was working at Grinnell College in Iowa. I described going to a presidential caucus in a neighbor's home.
"We divided into three groups based on which candidate we supported. I went to the undecided room. Based on our numbers, our group could elect 2 delegates. Well, three men volunteered to be a delegate and no women spoke up. So, I volunteered! There was a hand vote, and I was chosen as one of the two delegates. I am now a participant in the democratic process."
That was more than 30 years ago. What I am finding in working on this material from so long ago is that it is bringing up lots of memories. While reading these old letters, I am making connections between the past and the present.
How can we make connections between the past and the present when not many people write letters anymore? How do you record and process your thoughts, ideas, and feelings? Do you keep a journal? Write a blog? Record your thoughts on your phone? The latter two methods may not be preserved for the future.
Keeping a journal or notebook handy at all times is a great way to honor your ideas, sort through feelings, and help you prioritize what is important to you today.
Then, twenty years from now, you can reread your journal and make connections between the past and the present. You might be surprised by what you read, what you have learned, and how you have grown. I recommend it!