I have been leaving a digital trail and record of my life for about as long as I can remember. I document a lot of the highs, and some of the lows, mostly to help me remember and appreciate the timeline that partially represents the journey that I've taken thus far. It is wild to scroll back through Facebook and Instagram photos and think, "whah, that was so long ago!" and then click on the picture and see it has only been three years.
One of my favorite apps on my phone is Timehop. It is a truly simple concept, but has made a profound impact on me and on the way I think about what I share and on what social networks. Timehop allows you to sync your online profiles and then shows you what you were doing on this date every year since you started posting. Kind of like a "on this day in history" in USA Today but for your life.
I remember a few years ago, I started leaving messages for my future self in some of my social media posts or pictures. Knowing I would likely forget that I had done so, I posted things that I would want to remember and sometimes included the hashtag #DearFutureAndy. When you think about your online posts in that light, it deepens your understanding of the power these tools have.
But this year, as I have watched my social media posts from this time last year, I have seen things that I never saw before. A year ago right now was the beginning of the end of a lot of things in the life that I'd been living. And, taken one day at a time with 365 days worth of hindsight, I am seeing things that I truly believe in the moment a year ago, I was oblivious to. A friend told me I needed to quit messing with my head and being so masochistic, but I have found so many lessons in these daily glimpses that it is helping me as I continue to move forward.
It has always been said that there is a reason your windshield is so much bigger than your rearview mirror, you can't drive forward if all you can see is what is behind. But, that being said, sometimes sneaking a peak at what has been helps shape and determine what is ahead.
Every mile is a memory.