I don’t remember much from my childhood. Don’t get me wrong, I remember it was loving, educational, sometimes unfair (?), stimulating and fun with lots of friends, experiences, adventures, activities and moments. But I don’t have the same specific memories that a lot of my friends have. My childhood friends will recount specific events and then say ‘do you remember that?’ and I’ll be stymied. It’s funny how certain things stick in your mind…
As I think back to years ago (I’m talking primary school time) I have quite a few specific memories. Then I realise that some of them might be memories that I’ve taken on as my own after being told the story and/or shown the photo so many times. Kind of like my brother asking why he isn’t in my parents wedding photos (he was born eight years later). His memory of that day from hearing stories and seeing photos was so clear that he was convinced that he was there that day.
I’ve been thinking about this for a few years now, wondering if there’s something wrong with me. The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m fine, I just don’t have that specific memory that others do. But I’m lucky that I have friends that can remind me of the fun times (and the ‘un-fun‘ times that are funny in retrospect).
So to preserve the family and childhood memories I do have I’m making a SMASH journal to document the moments, sayings, stories and things from when I was a child/teenager/young adult – everything up to when I moved out of my parents house. I love that my SMASH journal has no plastic page protectors and is like the ‘old-style’ scrapbooking I used to do as a kid on family holidays – using a plain notebook to stick in brochures, ticket stubs, magazine articles/images and writing down my thoughts from each day (usually just what we did and where we went).
Because I’m documenting a collection of random thoughts that have no order I’m just turning to a blank page and scrapping what I want whenever I want. Some pages will have photos, some will involve a lot of words, some will be neat, some will be messy and they will all be whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. There’s no time frame and no pressure from myself… I’ll work on it when I’m feeling it (and won’t when I’m not).
Come along with me on this haphazard but fulfilling journey of emptying my mind and memories onto the page.