Last night, I found several short bios I wrote on various websites over the years. Most of these websites don’t exist anymore, and I’ve been reduced to searching my own memory for the archived locations of even these short pieces. Though somewhat markedly different, none of these biographies are false; they are direct reflections of who I was at the time. This past weekend, I moved to a new place and brought a lot of stuff out of a storage unit where its been for the past two years. At the time, I thought I was getting rid of loads of stuff – I remember bags and bags of clothing and furniture donated and yet, as I begin to unpack, I’m taken back by what I felt the need to hold on to.
Now, more than ever, I see with more clarity the gap between saying “let go” and the process of actually letting it go. For whatever reason, I started to consider past iterations of myself. Who I was vs who I am. This is what I came up with.
The best I can tell, this first one was written during my junior year in high school, when I was just beginning to feel (it would become stronger later) especially average and disillusioned about the future. It gives me a certain, albeit heavily nostalgic, joy to remember when I used British spelling (constantly); was still new to JD Salinger and hadn’t yet gone off to college.
I am sixteen-years-old, living in middle America on an inconsistent income. I spend my time filling out job applications, researching colleges and studying so that someday I will be able to get into college without selling my soul to State University. I speak occasional German, I write in the margins, and it’s not a burden to write a research paper. I read, a lot. To Kill a Mockingbird, Franny and Zooey, The Fountainhead, to name a few. I often find myself betwixt chapters in any number of books, they all lie around, waiting to be read. I own two typewriters. I painted my room purple last year, it’s a favourite colour of mine … don’t especially know why, have just always been partial to it. I wish I could take an Etymology class. I drive a 1986 Camaro, and I like the colour of a white car, even if it has been bruised from time. I’d like to end this all with a pleasant cliche only, I haven’t the energy nor drive to find one.
In 2004, I updated the bio:
I grew up around music. Mostly popular artists, old recordings on cassette tapes as I traveled across the country with my parents. I’d like to say that we were natural-born bohemians, but we were actually just the product of transient military life. So, we moved a lot and I saw the country from the backseat of a car listening to Bob Dylan and Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac. I write, because it’s the only thing I’ve ever really done. Sometimes it’s about writing something just to say I’ve generated words on a page, other times it’s about getting out exactly what I want to say, when I want to say it. I’m trying to keep it simple. That’s what I’m about, the rest is all left over.
And, updated again in 2007:
Hello, I’m Samantha. Welcome to my current manifestation of insanity.
I like to say that I’ve spent my life in a constant state of transfer and transplant (which is mostly true): I’m not from anywhere and my friends are mostly the people I’ve met since the latest move. As it is, this is the life for me. I’ve always wanted to be everything. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to settle within the boundaries of one specific career or idea. I will always be working on more than one project and deterrence is a harder sale than it may seem. I went to college just outside of Nashville, where I’ve interned and worked for the past four and a half years. I’m working on a television show right now and crossing my fingers that it takes me out of the music city and on to the next big thing. In the end, I’m most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, reading Paste Magazine and drinking warm green tea lattes.
The blog post above is from 2006, and it looks like I could’ve posted it a couple of days ago.
Some things never change.