Tag Archives: autobiography

28 years ago this month: my first autobiography

In March 1984, there were a lot of changes taking place in my life. I’d been living in California for 6 months, after having lived on the east coast for all my life before that. I was turning 12 years old. I was in sixth grade. And my teacher had given us an assignment to write an autobiography.

This was a big project and we were expected to do a good job on it. For reasons that I can’t explain, I took to the task like no assignment before it and I ended up doing a pretty good job on it. This afternoon, while going through some old papers, I came across that autobiography and I thought it might be amusing, at least, and insightful, at most, to quote from portions of it. There is a table of contents that indicates there were 10 “chapters.”

At any moment in your life, you feel as grown up as you can possibly be because you are living on the very cusp, moving forward. So I think at the ripe old age of twelve (and I was likely still 11 when I was doing the writing), I had what I felt was a very world-weary view of things. I’d been around for quite a while, had seen my share, and was going to report on it as colorfully as I could. In writing about my “childhood” here is what I had to say:

Continue reading 28 years ago this month: my first autobiography

My Life — An Autobiography circa 1984

Earlier in the week, in my writing about writing post, I mentioned the fact that in 6th grade, I had to write an autobiography. This afternoon, while doing ever more spring cleaning, I found a copy of it. It’s not terribly long and it’s very amusing to me and I simply can’t resist quoting it here in its entirety for anyone who is interested. This is how I summed up my life nearly a quarter century ago.

My Life as of March 20, 1984

My autobiography in song, part 1: the early 1970s

I’ve mentioned my autobiography playlist numerous times, and I said yesterday that I’d have more to say about the playlist soon. This post represents the first of a series in which I will give a brief overview of the first 35 years of my life as told through the songs that remind me of events in those years.

So what exactly is this playlist? As it currently stands, it is a list of 193 songs, totaling nearly 15 hours of music. I have a very specific memory for where I first heard a song, or an event or feeling a song reminds me of. It is a weird, almost emotional attachment to the song that when I hear it, I’m instantly transported back in time. Because of this, the songs that are on the list are there because of an emotional attachment, not necessarily because I like the songs. In most cases, I do like the songs, but in some cases, I have some ridiculous songs that I don’t really like, but which invoke powerful memories in me.

Keep in mind that in the very early years, I had no control over the music I listened to. I wasn’t until I was about 8 or 9 years old that I had my own radio and tape player and could listen to what I want. That means that the music I listened to in the first 8 or 9 years of my life was completely dependent on my parents.

With those caveats in mind, here is part one of my autobiography in song, which covers the early and middle 1970s.

The early-middle 1970s