derekfetters

The Time Travel Project: Introduction

In The Time Travel Project on November 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I have always had fantasies about time travel. When I was younger I’d wonder about the possibility of meeting a future version of myself, someone who could give me advice on what I needed to know in order to handle the future. Because there were so few black people in Yakima, where I spent most of my childhood, sometimes when I would see a black man I would wonder if that was me from the future, come back to keep tabs on me, waiting for the right time to reveal to me who he was. It turned out, of course, that he was just a random black man from the present, or at least I assume that since he never talked to me. Also,as an adult I know I have yet to time travel except at the normal, slow pace of one second per second into the future. Thing is, when this assumed future-self never revealed himself to me, it kind of bummed me out. It’s weird to think that as a child I was lonely for my adult self.

Well, now I am my adult self and while I can’t return to the past, I can communicate across the span of years. I have kept a journal since I was 13 when I was expected to write one for Mary Crago’s 9th grade English class. It was a practice that I continued outside of school, even to this day. Some years I was more prolific than others, but I never set it down for good. It’s the one writing exercise I constantly practice. As a result, I have kept personal messages to myself throughout 28 years of my personal history. I can tell you what it was that I have been worrying about, thinking, feeling since I was thirteen.

This is a unique opportunity for personal correspondence. I am planning on reading these journals and writing back to me in the past, hoping to give him that advice he never got, that insight into the future that would help him realize that everything turns out okay in the end.  But honestly, this advice isn’t for him. It’s for me. It’s really about talking to the internal, unresolved teenager that needs some mentor to help him through his/my struggles. It’s really self-mentoring in the present. It’s also, hopefully reacquainting myself with myself. There are weeks where it feels like I lose track of who I am, my values, my passions, and my vision of who I intend to be. I expect these intimate message will remind me of those things.

So, in the future, you can expect me to type up some of those long-past journal entries. This is just the introduction. I will title and tag them all with “The Time Travel Project”.  For the inaugural post, why don’t we look at one of the earliest journal entries that also has to do with time travel?

“Sept 27, 1984

“I would like to have Leonardo da Vinci as a friend and learn about how he thought up ideas for the helicopter and other inventions. I would like to know him not so much for the paintings he did but to find out how a man from the renisance (excuse my spelling) could come up with such incredible ideas.”

That had to be a response to, “What historical figure would you like to be friends with?”. I don’t really have much comment here. I have evidently always been a nerd. That’s nothing new or shocking. I guess it wasn’t clear that I wanted to be a writer at this point because I’d probably go back and befriend a famous writer, possibly explore the Harlem Renaissance (thank you, spell check) : Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay. But I can’t fault young me for wanting to quiz Leonardo on his creative process. I am pleased to recognize that young me’s intellectual curiosity has remained and continued into present me.

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  1. Interesting. I’ll be looking forward to more excerpts from these diaries.

  2. I share your interest in Langston Hughes. Hr was working at a Harlem eatery as waiter or busboy (I don’t remember which) when showed one of his poems to Vachel Lindsey, who was a customer there. That’s what first launched his career as a successful poet.

  3. […] Time Travel Project Introduction […]

  4. […] Time Travel Project Introduction […]

  5. […] beneath all the RPGs are all my journals from high school through college to now. As a result, the Time Travel Project is on hiatus until I can clean and organize my closet. I think we know how closet cleaning projects […]

  6. “Because there were so few black people in Yakima, where I spent most of my childhood, sometimes when I would see a black man I would wonder if that was me from the future, come back to keep tabs on me, waiting for the right time to reveal to me who he was.”

    Wow, what a captivating sentence! Made me feel a pretty wide range of emotions. Bravo! (Also, love the idea for the blog)

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