Why I Blog

In Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner famously wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." What terrifies me, though, is that I'm not sure I agree: life moves quickly, and sometimes my past seems to be slipping away. I do have my memories, of course, which I cherish, as well as a rich trove of family ties, lifelong friendships, cultural heritages, educational foundations, and many other elements that help define who I am. But my memories, while numerous, are increasingly elusive; by focusing so much on the future, sometimes I lose sight of the past. After a mere 20 years in this body, I'm already haunted by the finiteness of human mental capacity.

Somewhat ironically, the stunning potential and incredible intricacies of the human mind are also what fascinate me—these are precisely what I am studying as a Cognitive Science major, and I am constantly amazed by the abilities of human cognition. On the other hand, though, I forget, and I tend to forget too much. Nearly all of us have had enough experiences to make mature any child, wise any fool, thankful any ingrate, humble every man. And yet our thoughts and actions—or mine, at least—certainly don't reflect this wisdom. Perhaps Faulkner was right (and I'm sure Freud would agree); but most of the yellowed lessons that haven't decomposed completely must be buried deep below the sediment of time and distractions and More Important Matters.

On a side note, I'm realizing that my nostalgia-tinged desire to remember more is the result of a childhood and adolescence that have been, almost entirely due to efforts not my own, genuinely happy and relatively carefree. I'm thus reminded to be grateful for the countless blessings I do not deserve.

So here I am, a somewhat self-indulgent archaeologist trying to preserve a few fossils from my memories while chronicling new milestones and laughs and quiet moments and epiphanies. And while the specimens themselves might not be anything spectacular, the process of collecting and writing about my experiences is even more valuable, I believe, than their content. I've come to enjoy the silence between me and a blank screen, a time of private contemplation. It forces me to examine more closely, think more deeply, and reflect more sincerely than I normally would otherwise. Plus, it keeps me sane.

Along the way, I hope to pay tribute to those who have taught me, inspired me, humored me, or touched me in some other way. And keep my friends and family informed about my latest musings and goings-on. And hopefully start a few interesting conversations.

I realize that, at least in college, toasts are usually to forgetting.
But here's to remembering.