We’ve all visited the glorious Wikipedia at one point or another in our lives. Whether it’s to satisfy a curious itch, or to help speed along an essay that’s due in a day or two, it’s always much better to find what you want to hear, instead of reading the boring journals and articles yourself, right? Though, within an hour, you’re completely off topic, spiralling head first down a rabbit hole of mystery and intrigue; desperately clawing at the walls of the deepest, darkest pits.
The Internet in general is a place to do this. With the amount of visible and hidden ‘stuff’ out there, it’s always easy to stumble upon new avenues into curiousness. In no time you’ve dug up ancient blog posts, articles and webpages from yesteryear. Posts about people’s lives, their photos and words, can always circulate and resurface, given you know where to look. Plot twist, though, a lot of these people aren’t around anymore. For a few, all that’s left of them is out there for everyone to find and interpret. They live on in posts and forum threads. Their past, how they saw it, preserved until the end. But, is it all a fiction?
Some of it is, of course. Though, is all of what’s out there not a fiction? Are we ever really a true reflection of ourselves when posing for shameless selfies, or curating tightly knitted blog posts and Tweets. Just how much self censorship would define the crossing of the thin line from reality to fiction: from the truth, into the online world?
Let’s be real, it doesn’t even have to be online. According to photos on my PC, I’ve been to many places, taken many images and experienced amazing food and drinks with people I care about. It’s all there: photographic evidence of my escapades. But my brain remembers near enough nothing, or at least it chooses not to remember anything about these seemingly good times. Did something happen? Do I now automatically block everything that isn’t appealing to my life story? If you ask me, though, it’s better this way. I’m not restricted to the cold, hard truth of days gone by. I write the fiction of my own past: I can choose how and what I want to remember; a past that I’m happier with; a past that doesn’t hurt so much. Naturally, rewriting your own story is dangerous business: God forbid someone’s there to contradict your story at every turn, but it’s good to have an antithesis to bounce your plot twists off…
If you want to rewrite your past, don’t. None of us can, and it’s there to stay forever: to be looked back on in photos and words.
Start with your future. You might be able to forget as time goes on, but in the end it all happened. Instead, write and live in a story that you’d be proud to tell your descendants years from now; only then can you look back and smile at just how far you’ve travelled to reach the end.