Each of us has a unique life story. Our lives are filled with ups and downs, accomplishments, hardships, and unexpected turns.
Whether or not we realize it, the journey of our life is an important part of our family’s history that should never be forgotten. But unless we are proactive in preserving our memories, the inevitable day will come when the life we have lived will one day be forgotten.
And in the future, most of us will become nothing more than another random face in a photograph that no one will recognize.
That is why a memoir is the perfect opportunity for you to preserve your life story and help ensure it gets told through the future generations of your family.
But there are those who believe they don’t have a story that is worth remembering, and thus don’t have any interest in creating a life memoir. And if you fall into that category, we have one question for you.
Have you considered this:
1) A memoir can help bring closure – for you
All of us have secrets we keep bottled up. We all make decisions in life that others may not fully understand. We all experience moments that cause stress and unrest, and we may often question whether or not we’ll ever get through an otherwise difficult time.
For example, have you ever gone through a break up with a true love? Or did something unexpected ever happen to you as a child? Did you ever play a role in the history of our world and our freedoms (e.g. serving in the military)? Or have you ever experienced a tragedy, such as the loss of a loved one?
When you think about these examples and the myriad of other similar ones, how do they make you feel? Have you ever talked to anyone about what happened? Does anyone really know the true experience, or have you kept it a secret for one reason or another? Do you hold a grudge or have any resentment? Do you find yourself still thinking about that experience 25 years later?
This is just one many reasons why starting a private memoir can be useful. By telling your story in a way that will remain private until the day we say ‘goodbye’, you can express your feelings so as to ‘release’ them from inside…without fear of anyone else finding out about it until you’re ready.
A memoir is also a great way to help relieve the stress that might be consuming you, and can assist in the healing process if an experience has negatively impacted your life.
2) You can tell the stories of your life to the future members of your family
Realistically, sitting down at the dinner table with your great, great, great grand children is likely something we will never get the opportunity to do. But imagine if it was.
Imagine if we were sitting right beside them…laughing, crying, reminiscing, and just enjoying each other’s company.
What if you could talk to your future relatives? Have you ever thought about what you might say? What if you could tell them about the times in your life that you’ll never forget, or the experiences in life that taught you a major lesson?
What if you had the option of leaving behind messages and videos specifically for them, where you share these very moments?
When our yet-to-be-born relatives begin researching their family history, a memoir can help answer many of the questions they will have about you. They can learn about your education, your careers, your hobbies, your relationships, your successes, your hardships, and your memories. They may hear your voice through an audio recording, or stumble upon certain photos that you left behind.
And in the end, they will begin to uncover the story about the life you once lived.
3) A memoir can create a permanent record in history about your life
While nothing is ever guaranteed, a life memoir gives you an opportunity to become a permanent part of history. Because when you think of America’s past, you probably don’t think of youself.
Instead, we recall the people who were a bigger part of history…such as Amelia Earheart, Martin Luther King Jr, and Neil Armstong. They represent just a few people who created a legacy that will continue to live on for generations to come.
But what about the rest of us? What about those of us who don’t have that claim to fame? What if we don’t have a lot of money or don’t do something that is considered by today’s generation to be news-worthy?
Many of us, including myself sometimes, believe our lives are just mediocre…and thus feel that our story doesn’t deserve to be remembered.
But just because we haven’t “made it big”, that doesn’t mean we are any less important. Ultimately we are a small blip in the history of our family…and the world. We are one of hundreds more that will be born into our family, and one of billions more to walk this Earth in the future.
But we are also creating history…right now. We are living life the best we can, experiencing moments that will forever stay with us. We go to school, we have a job, we raise a family, and we pursue our dreams. And sometimes along the way we catch of a few laughs that remains with us forever.
That is why ALL of us deserve to be remembered in our family’s history. And a memoir presents an opportunity for you to create your personal record in time. A record that will continue to tell your story, long after we all say goodbye.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to publish your memoir in the form of a book, or simply store a one-page summary online, the hardest part is committing to do it.
Many people believe that a memoir is a time-consuming project. And in a way this might be accurate. But it does not have to be.
It does not have to be a book 400 pages with 25 chapters. It can be something as simple as recording a video of yourself, leaving behind a one-page hand-written letter with your Last Will, or working on your digital Footprint when you find the time.
The people of the future don’t need to know every detail of every day in our lives. They will long for the poignant moments; the memorable moments; the lessons you learned; and the major moments that make up your life story.
Ultimately your future descendants will want to know something about your journey and what you did in your short time here. And what better way to give them what they long for than to leave behind a memoir of your life…as told by you.
So now only one question remains: have you started your Footprint yet?