Self-writing/ recording/ documenting has long been a concern for me. It is something that I am interested in, but I also feel kind of weird about. What do I really want to say about myself? I feel a lot like I haven't really done anything. I'm young. I'm not married. I don't have children yet...but I don't' give myself enough credit - and I don't think that a lot of people give themselves enough credit. I know I have had awesome adventures - traveling and with school. That's something to write about. I've received awards. That's something to write about. It's all about perspective! Finding the perspective can be a little tricky though!
Think about this: I was visiting with one of my best friends the other day, and the discussion about audio recordings came up (as it so often does). She said to me that she acknowledges a weak spot in our own research - we spend a lot of time recording and interviewing older family members. What about the perspectives and experiences of our other family members?
This got me thinking - what she said was absolutely true. Everyone has a life story, and sometimes you don't get to live it out in nine decades or ten decades. There are people that I have lost in my life that I wish I had thought to ask them questions or record their laughter. So, don't just consider older family members! Think about younger family members too. Think about yourself.
I am going to start a project with the younger people in my family. I want to do a series of recordings. I've been thinking about doing this for a long time too. A few years ago, when I first started this site, I began to do a series of self-interviews. I asked myself the same questions that I would ask another family member. And then I deleted them and tried never to think of them again - they sounded so dorky. I couldn't believe that I sounded the way that I sounded when I tried to answer questions. And I became so distracted by the way that I could see myself in the camera that I didn't want to do the interview anymore - which made me sympathize COMPLETELY with older family members that I have recorded on video.
So, now I'm going to change my approach. I'm going to have my set questions. I am going to interview myself and the younger people in my family. But here is the twist: ideally, these recordings could range - they could happen every ten years, every five years, every three years, or every year. They would document the challenges and joys that the individual has experienced.
Talking about themselves can be a challenge for some people and some topics might be pretty sensitive - so take that into consideration. Try to capture stories, as well as facts. It has been my experience that people LOVE telling stories, but providing the specifics about where they were born isn't necessarily that much fun.
It is a project that I am going to implement in my own life. Now, audio recordings, video recordings, or written word - that's up to you.