Sunday, August 10, 2008


I've been working on my timeline. It's getting quite detailed - I'm up to 8 pages. I'm including both positive and negative events in my life. However, writing about some of my past negative experiences has had an effect on my leaving me feeling melancholy. It's forced me to think of things I've kept buried and would rather not think about.

I was talking to my wife about my timeline. She mentioned what a great way it is to capture a personal history. The thing is, there is stuff in my timeline I'm not sure I want my posterity to know. There is stuff my wife doesn't even know - and I'm not ready to tell her, and don't know if I'll ever be ready. No unconfessed sins or anything big like that - just stuff that has happened to me that I prefer not to think about; things I've done that I'm not particularly proud of.

Should my posterity know about the real me - warts and all? Or should they only know about my public persona - the fake me that I project to everyone? The facade I've built up over the years. Should I carry my secrets with me to the grave? I just don't know.


Philip said...

Abelard: I think you should worry about you for now. Be totally truthful with yourself first then if and when you are ready then you can be totally truthful with others.

What's important here is that you take an honest look at what has happened and how it has impacted you. If worrying about what you should tell others is going to affect that honestly then call a moratorium on telling others until after you've done your homework.


Scot said...

"Should my posterity know about the real me - warts and all?"

As children, probably not, I'd think.

As adults, well, they'll have warts and all too. Depending on what you mean, there may be lesions to be learned, and humanization in there that could be helpful, no?

Beck said...

I agree with Philip - the purpose is to get to the bottom of where you are and how to help you right now!

It's like my blog. If I had to be looking over my shoulder and questioning what to say and expose to the universe and whether it will be appropriate for my "legacy" or not defeats the whole purpose of the therapeutic aspect of why I blog. I'm too uncertain of professional counseling and so I blog my warts and stupidity openly in hopes of learning from it.

In my opinion, your timeline should be done in the same spirit - your wife, your kids, your posterity, your public never need to know all that is on that timeline.

You can write your personal history later and edit as you see fit for posterity, but don't edit right now!

Kengo Biddles said...

I would say that yes, in the future (after you die...) it could be something for your kids to discover...or as they come of age and are ready to hear some of it. I think that it's important for people to know that we were just people to, and we still did the good we did in our lives, all the same.

Robert said...

Tough question. I've started that kinds history a few times and deleted it everytime. It's scary, just writing it. I'm with philip and beck. As far as telling anybody...I think about the people that I love as dear siblings...and as parents. Would I want to know? What would it do to be told or to read those things about those specific people? Sharing, if any, would be for a much later time.

zachary.whitney said...

I experience the same feelings whenever I write in my journal. I feel like if I express my true emotions or feelings, I will be creating this persona that I don't want my posterity to know... but, then if I don't, my journal will be only one side of me. I've often thought of keeping 2 journals, but that means double the work and the very thought exhausts me.

As far as your timeline, I agree that for the present, it's best to just get it all out. You can sort through those kind of details later.