My human experience, Volume 41

My human experience, Volume 41

As year’s end approaches this week it is time to reflect on not only this year which will soon be gone but all others in which we have lived and experienced being human.  My final entry in my 2015 CE personal journal will be made on New Year’s Eve and will mark the end of Volume 41 of the chronicles of my own human experience.  As those who follow this blog may have noticed, there are several posts which contain references to and excerpts from my own personal journal.  Some of you reading this may keep a journal yourself.  I started keeping a personal journal at the suggestion of my ninth grade English teacher at then Wilson Junior High School, Mrs. Mary Ann Myers.  It wasn’t really a daily journal per se.  It was a journal specifically for her class.  As it turned out only me and one other person in her third hour class kept up writing something, something, daily from day one to day last.  It was not until my sophomore year at Will Rogers High School that I began to keep a personal daily journal as a matter of my own extracurricular routine.  Beginning on 1 January 1975 I commenced writing out my day’s events, the highlights of my own human experience in the form of a personal daily journal.  That same month I joined a new student organization, Creative Writing Club, a union of writers of all types, founded by Mrs. Jeanine Loftin, one of my 10th grade English teachers who encouraged me to maintain my daily journal.  I remember thinking I knew a lot and wrote a lot.  The truth is the intellectual limitation of teenager was apparent but at least it reflects a presence of mind to write down what I did, when I did it, with whom I did it, and occasionally what I thought about all the whole few sentences or paragraph of what I wrote of the day’s activities and a level of developing discipline to do it all on a daily basis.  I will say that I have kept a journal as long as some have and probably more than most.  The only time in the past nearly forty-one years that I have not written down my human experience daily was the time I spent in Navy boot camp, the months of February, March and the first twelve or so days of April 1978.

1975 Personal Journal

1975 Personal Journal

The first four volumes of my personal daily journal were kept in spiral notebooks.  The next three were kept in bound   “Nothing Books.”  Years 1982, 1983 and 1984 were all kept in a green Navy log book.  Years 1985 through 1995 were kept finely bound ruled record books.  Beginning in 1996 I have kept every month on a Word file.  At the end of every month I print off a hard copy and put it in a binder.  Beginning in 2003 and my acquisition of digital photography capability, I started incorporating digital photos.

1976 Personal Journal

1976 Personal Journal

I deeply believe we all have a duty to leave some record of our time on this rock spinning through space for future generations.  It matters not whether we are exceptional individuals or marginal characters.  I really think we have a duty to leave some record of how we experienced life on this planet, how we related to our world, how we were treated by others and most importantly how we treated friends, lovers, hostile souls, immediate and extended family, acquaintances and even total strangers.  We should leave as complete a record as we can as to how human we were in our life.  I myself am an average individual.  I may be a little above average in some areas and a little below average in others, but overall I am about as average as they come.  I have never been a standout at anything be it academic, athletic, clinical, financial, domestic, recreational or anything else but I have always been able to give a personal account of every twenty-four hour period in my life for the better part of the past forty-one years, for better or worse.  It is true that you are less likely to forget things if you write them down.  This is something I have sought to do and there have been times it has come in handy for recalling specifics of events, locations, happenings and persons present for all of them.

1977 Personal Journal

1977 Personal Journal

 The late comedian George Carlin was interviewed a few months before his death and articulated my sentiments beautifully:

“When you are born in this World you are given a ticket to the Freak Show and when you are born in America you are given a front row seat.  And some of us get to sit there with notebooks, and I’m a notebook kind of guy.” 

1978 Personal Journal

1978 Personal Journal

 I also see myself as a notebook kind of guy.  Writing down what you see, hear, sense or feel doesn’t require any special talent.  It doesn’t even require any more self discipline than say basic personal hygiene, getting up to go to work, doing household chores or going to the gym.  It helps to have a resolve and personal commitment to work toward a mission objective, to leave a record of your life and times.  I myself am committed to doing exactly that.  It is my hope that my work can inspire others to do the same.  I do also realize that I am little more than just another molecule in a complex universe.  As I wrap up Volume 41 I can see this practice continuing.  At this point it is almost like a core component of my DNA.  To all who have ever been part of my daily record of events, this year and in years previous, I want to extend you my thanks for being part of my human experience.  How better can it be demonstrated that we are together in this thing known as life?

SunMoonStars

1 Comment

  1. Julia Clifford
    Dec 28, 2015

    I truly enjoyed this. Amazing dedication. Impressive.