At 10, I kept a journal with information gathered from books and kid encyclopedias. Each spread containing trivia that normal kids at that age would find irrelevant like illustrated types of clouds, an alphabetically arranged list of all the countries in the world and their capitals which I then memorized, nautical flag guides, wilderness survival symbols documented from when I was a cab scout, and many more. My favourite sections were a map of constellations that included brief descriptions of each group of stars and their origins, and a long list of mythological gods and monsters. I had early signs of being an adventurer with all gathered information laboriously recorded on my notebook by hand.
At 13, I created two graphic comic books in between classes and during summer vacation when I had no friends to play with in the neighborhood because none of the other boys liked effeminate behavior. The first was about anthropomorphic heroes in medieval times; the second had characters inspired from role-playing games like Final Fantasy 7 and Suikoden 2. The line work was terrible, the plot awfully conceived, but I thought I was a genius.
At 16, I compiled the lyrics of all the songs I liked and kept every page filed in a self-binded folder that grew to an inch thick. Two columns, back to back, font size 10, cyan, Tempus Sans. It was passed around classrooms and returned to my hands at the end of each day. I kept a separate notebook where the words to my favourite songs were carefully handwritten on the black pages using silver metallic pens.
At 21, I had a folder on my desktop that contained digital illustrations and scanned sketches that I have created since I started college. A new file would be added to the collection at the end of each week. Sometimes two. At most, I can whip up five decent artworks in seven days and I would post them online where people from all over the globe could tell me how great I was even though I believe there was still much to be done.
At 25, I had documented hundreds of stories about my personal life since I stepped out of college. Recorded on it were personal experiences, first-hand account of explorations, achievements, heartbreaks, and cherished relationships. Each sentence represented a minute of my existence, an hour of my life summarized in a paragraph, a day shortened in a post.
At 27, none of those things mentioned above exist anymore. Instead, I have fragmented memories of the past, a list of unfinished work, a mental note of future plans, a collection of misunderstood relationships, and a handful of life lessons.
If the universe permits me and if I allow myself, I wish to pour the essence of myself into something again by the time I hit 30. It has been a while. It’s about time.