Over the past few months I’ve found myself reading biographies on people that lived well before modern times. One of the things that struck me as particularly interesting was the way writers went about gathering information on their subjects. There were no TV interviews to watch, no documents left behind on the internet, and no living relatives to interview. The best way to learn about the subjects was through the letters they left behind.
Because fame is right around the corner for me and biographies on my life will be in great demand 100 years from now, I thought that leaving behind a trail of letters (digital though they may be) sounded like a great idea. In my opinion, letters are the most illuminating form of communication we have and the idea of experimenting with that was too intriguing to pass over. My younger sister, Lauren, will be participating in an ongoing letter share with me. Where it goes and what we learn about one another I have no idea. Follow along and find out with us.
I’m glad you remember the funny times more than annoying times at the dinner table. Maybe I just remember them the way I do because I felt guilty about picking at you for no reason other than you were my sister sitting across from me at the dinner table. And I just think my mistakes stick in my brain way longer than the things I do right. I mean, you’re supposed to do right all the time so why dwell on it?
I didn’t always think of Matt as a friend either. I think the three year age gap and the fact that I was out of high school before he even entered made a huge difference. There was no friend overlap at that point — no shared experiences to talk about on a daily basis. And Matt was just different than me. Where I wanted to mostly keep to myself or hang with a small group of friends, Matt was ALWAYS on the go. I could have never kept up with his pace. And we argued easily. My cautious side and tendency to think two steps ahead clashed with his willingness to just dive into something if it sounded like fun. He wasn’t interested in me talking him out of something and I never knew how to shut up if someone wasn’t taking my point. I think I’m still that way, but nowhere near as bad as I was as a kid. It probably wasn’t until he moved to New York for school and started coming home every once in awhile that I felt like we were becoming friends. His high school friends weren’t occupying as much of his time by that point and really I think we just realized we had more in common than we recognized as kids. We started focusing on the things we both liked and there was a lot less big brother/little brother dynamic by that time.
But all three of our relationships seemed normal to me. We weren’t clingy and only friends with one another and we weren’t enemies either. There were three personalities, all with their own groups of friends and interests. I think Mom and Dad did good that way. I can remember when the three of us would be fighting, though, and it was me and Matt teaming up on you, Mom would always say to be nice to you, because you were going to be the one who kept us all close when we got older. I think she was right. Me, Matt, and Dad might be the three worst people I know at keeping in touch, but you always serve as the linchpin between the four of us.
I mentioned above my inability to drop an argument. It’s probably one of my top three least favorite personality traits about myself. I think I’m better than I used to be (though Facebook will take me a few steps back every now and then) but I always try to check myself these days. It’s actually why I like to meditate. You’re sitting there trying to quiet your mind and all sorts of thoughts or feelings will come to the forefront. Instead of dwelling on them you simply acknowledge the thought or feeling and promptly let it float out of your conscious. It’s good practice for real life when I hear things that really don’t sit well with me. I never want anyone or anything to have ownership of my brain and it really helps to be able to say “Okay, they said this and it bothered me. Move on to the next thought”. Are there any parts of your personality you regularly work on improving?
FYI, the title for this post came from Star Wars Episode I if you were wondering.