My life … in all its banality

Have you seen this website? OhLife is designed to help you write a letter to your future self. You write the letter, and it arrives in your InBox on the date you specify.

Interesting concept, but I’m not entirely sure I make a lot of meaningful statements worth reading in my future.

Regular readers have seen the dumb things I recorded for posterity in my junior high and high school diaries. Scintillating stuff like this from March 14, 1982:

I have a terrible fear that I’m gonna get my period on Tuesday, the day of my swimming lessons — it’s terrible. I’ll die. I’ll just die. But what can I do except pray?

The prayers worked. Four days later, I wrote: “I got my period. Today is Thursday so it should be done by next Tuesday and I won’t have to worry about it. Yay!”

I have bookshelves full of photo albums of just about every mundane occurence in my life, most with photos but some without. Among the memorabilia, I found this epic account in a copy of a letter written to a friend on July 3, 1994 [Steve is my ex-husband]:

Sollie, the bird killer

Tragedy strikes! We had a sad, horrible event occur a couple days ago. Who would have thought Sollie — our clawless, gutless kitty who’s never eaten anything but cat food — would kill a bird? Not me. We’ve let him outside before, and he’s never indicated he’d be capable of killing anything — he’s too stupid. But I let him out the other day, and then went back inside to grab the paper to read while I was watching him and in the few seconds he was out of my sight, he managed to find a wren in a bush and get it in his jaws! Yuck! I heard this awful squawk! and then I saw Sollie. I totally lost it. I went into the house screaming and as you can image, Steve was livid! Wrens are his favorite birds living in our yard and he felt bad luring them here and making them feel safe, and then having Sollie go on a hunting trip. We buried the bird in Steve’s little garden by the garage.

The letter also included a long account of how we decorated our kitchen with a cow theme. Cow. As in bovine.

More recently, I’ve used this blog to record stories from my life. Some days, I think I’m brilliant. But other days …

Here’s a snippet from a very early post (Nov. 4, 2008):

On a normal day, I wake up and immediately dress for a workout. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I walk the dog. Sometimes I do yoga in front of the TV.

This morning, instead of getting dressed for exercise, I awakened excited. Today, I got to exercise my American rights. I got to vote for president.

OK, I’m sort of impressed I’ve been keeping this blog active for almost four years, but I tend to get excited about mundane things (“I’ll die! I’ll just die!”).

Of course, my blog is out there in the world for everyone to see on the good days and the bad ones. You can read everything I’ve ever blogged about by clicking on a month under “Archive” over there on the right. Check out this gem from a post titled “25 random things” on Feb. 2, 2009:

I want to be a writer. Of books. But sometimes I spend more time on Facebook and writing my blog than I do advancing the goal of writing books.

I probably shouldn’t be announcing to the world all the inane things I’ve ever written when I’m readying a book (a book! my first book! read more here!) for publication, but so be it. That’s life.

By the way, I wrote a letter on OhLife to myself. To arrive in my InBox one year from now. Its meaning and value will be evaluated then.

39 responses to “My life … in all its banality

  1. I sporadically keep journals and it is quite fun to reread them later. So now I write myself a letter on new years eve and my birthday (june) last year due to milestone bday I wrote a letter to be opened in 5 years (when I’m 30)
    I also write my children a letter each year on their birthday. I am very excited to be able to open them with the kids in 11 years! 😀

  2. “I’ll die! I’ll just die!”…. made me laugh in my chair! Loved this look into Monica 🙂

  3. minnesotatransplant

    Te, he! My diaries are alternately embarrassing and interesting. Usually funny when they’re embarrassing.

  4. I write a diary and up until now I haven’t re-read any of them yet and I think they will give some funny insights into my own life.

    Btw, I send some future mails through “futureme” website.. 🙂 There are some letters which I’ve sent to be delivered after 6 years. That would be interesting I guess 🙂
    Great post 🙂

    • minnesotatransplant

      Thanks! Most of my diary entries are exceedingly embarrassing, but certainly they give me insight into my past, naive self. Writing a blog is different because the audience is public.

  5. Well, I get it. And you know, there’s a time for everything (I really believe this), including a time for a peaceful life enjoying the small pleasures…

    • minnesotatransplant

      True. Like being Freshly Pressed. A small pleasure. It’s not writing a book, but a pleasure. Thanks for visiting.

  6. On the rare occasions when I peruse old writings (from the Sixties… the Sixties!!) it is as if I’m looking at the work of someone else. And it’s true.

  7. time for everything, forsure!! i like your perpective on this! 🙂

    can you check out my blog please, its new and i would really appreciate your feedback!
    Thanks and love the posts, really!

  8. Nice! I spent 11 years growing up in Minnetonka, MN. Then transplanted myself out to Orange County, CA in 1999 for ten years & Las Vegas for three years. I learned from living in California, how blessed I was to grow up in such an affluent suburb safe to ride by bicycle as a child and play in the lakes as well as a great school system. Definitely a great place to be a mother and raise a family.

  9. sheenaeastonwannabe

    Brilliant! I’ve never kept a diary or journal but am finding this whole blog thing kind of freeing. Interesting to see that others have the same feelings about others knowing them as well as seeing ourselves through our own words.

  10. I think you will love the letter that you wrote on OhLife to yourself arriving your InBox one year from now. Do you think you will be in Minnesota then?

    • minnesotatransplant

      Nope. I love Minnesota. But I’ll never move back. The weather here, just two states south, is noticeably improved.

  11. isiscambassassassassian

    Such little things are the things that make us. You have all the steps on your journey stretching out behind you!

  12. Really enjoyed this piece! Will be checking out your archives! I’m currently blogging about my last 23 years of being single up until the present day….If I ever do settle down, it will make for an interesting read, like a diary of sorts! Best of luck! x

  13. Am gonna check out ohlife! Thanks for writing about it. I think it’s good that one dabbles in introspection time and again.

  14. Great post. Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  15. So enjoyed this post! I think it’s a great depiction of real life…some days are filled with excitement, others not so much but they all count don’t they? Even though I may not comment every day, hope you know that I read every day and look forward to what you have to say! xoxo

    • minnesotatransplant

      You are a blogger’s dream reader — one who reads AND comments. With compliments! I appreciate you, Courtney!

  16. I don’t keep a journal, but I do have boxes full of odd stuff that I and my children have done over the years. Seeing some of the things I’ve written at a later date sometimes amazes me.
    One might think that one would be much smarter at a later date, but it isn’t always so. Sometimes you were at a high point in your life and at a later date, you might benefit from looking at something you understood then, but have since forgotten you were capable of.

  17. I have journals from ages 19-20 filled with thoughts,experiences of mine and my best friend.We lost touch.She died at 29.Her daughter was 6,now adult.Should I find her and share them,-would she care?Would my friend want her to know some things? I could edit.

    • minnesotatransplant

      Wow! What a gift! You could write a book on this experience, first about the friend, then about the experience of meeting and sharing with her daughter. I’ve got to believe she would want to know everything.

  18. My parents were born in Minnesota – but for me, born, raised, and educated in sunny California. As for banality, it only happens if you allow it. Being first an Angelino (LA), I worked in San Francisco for years and then moved to Hawaii. Hawaii changed my life – probably one of the best accidental decisions I ever made.
    Now my wife and I are living in Asia – and love it.
    Best wishes to you … may your life be filled with joy, always. (We do, however, have to accept a little banality at times). It comes with the gift of life.

    • minnesotatransplant

      You are well traveled — I admire that. Some of this is tongue in cheek of course — I’ve kept those diaries 30 years because they’re filled with me, totally me, with all the boring AND exciting. Two sides of the same coin.

  19. This post of yours has a lot of fresh ideas on writing a blog post. And I absolutely loved the ones that you have mentioned here!

  20. I have journals I kept ages 19 through 26 or so. I am a little nervous to dip into them for fear they will be (quite likely) filled with DRAMA that now looks pale in hindsight. But I did open one a while ago and found a sentence that shook me — I predicted I would leave my hometown and be living in NY within a few years, (for which I had no plan at all.) And here I am…

    • minnesotatransplant

      Perhaps the lesson is, follow your intuition. As for the drama, thank god we grow up and our hormones even out. At least for awhile. Thanks for stopping by.

  21. ahahaha! yeah, i definitely have nothing of substance to say to my older self. except about how awesome i am. thanks for sharing, i think i’ll check out this site regardless.

  22. Very well written. I just pass by and I read your blog i had enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.

  23. I keep a journal and photo albums, makes me look back and say I did stupid things a lot, I am being silly a lot, I cried a lot and etcetera. A letter for your future self, that would be a cool idea, thanks for sharing that website you’ve mention. Lastly, I think you should teach Sollie a lesson for being so bad. 🙂

  24. Pingback: 2012 in review | Minnesota Transplant

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