Remember Your Future

Mixed Message

Marcel Proust spent 13 years writing and expanding his 7-volume autobiographical novel, obsessing over getting it just right, at leaving nothing out. And then no one would publish it. So he published it himself. It became one of the most influential novels of all time. Published in English as Remembrance of Thing Past, its title À la recherche du temps perdu, actually translates to In Search of Lost Time.

Aren’t we all? Here’s what Proust learned:

“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”

I’ve been planning a memoir, but fear it will end up wildly inaccurate. So I take heart from Proust’s words. What matters most, I think, is not whether I remember my past exactly as it occurred, but what I’ve learned from it, what, for good or for bad, it has made me. So, I may do a poor job of remembering my past, but I pray at least I’ll do a good job of…

Remembering my future.

“Our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.” ~Julian Barnes

“The past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ~Virginia Woolf

“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” ~Cormac McCarthy

“I think it is all a matter of love. The more you love a memory the stronger and stronger it becomes” ~Vladimir Nabokov

“’It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’ said the White Queen to Alice.” ~Lewis Carroll

Remember your future well.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir, Quips and Quotes, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Remember Your Future

  1. Bob Martin says:

    Our past is not carved in stone. We can improve our past by altering our emotional reactions to the events of those times. How I reacted to such events is more important than the events themselves

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Ha! Life seldom makes much sense at the time we are experiencing it and we really do need our future to help give it context and meaning. I remember making cup cakes with some boys once, oh ye of little faith, who really thought “this is dumb, it will never work out, they don’t even look good.” All true if you’ve never seen the process and don’t understand the outcome.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Made me think of this.

    “Sit down, sit down, sit down
    Sit, down, sit down

    As we relive our lives
    In what we tell you”


    “Home By The Sea”

    – Genesis

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll never be able to write a memoir. I can barely remember what I did yesterday.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Nancy Ruegg says:

    My dad used to say his memory was so good he could remember things that hadn’t even happened. Seriously, I like what Bob Martin said above. Our past is not carved in stone. Hindsight has much to teach us about previous events. And our emotional reactions to memories–things that hurt us, disappointed us–can improve with the passing of time, as perspective and wisdom increase.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I am eager to read your memoir, Mitch. Please don’t take thirteen years!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. revruss1220 says:

    Besides my irregular blog posting, a spiritual memoir is the other writing project I am working on. It is amazing to see things that seemed trivial and unimportant at the time take on a much deeper significance when looking back on them. Best wishes with your memoir project, Mitch!

    Liked by 3 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Thanks, Russ. Just compiling notes right now. Could be a few years before I actually start writing it (although some of my blog posts are early test segments).


    • boromax says:

      Isn’t it amazing, Russ? As one follows the “stitches” that led to where one has arrived, one always (not hyperbole) finds that the threads that seemed inconsequential are actually the “three-stranded cord” that is hold everything together.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Bill Sweeney says:

    Like one of the quotes said, I bet your scar stories are etched in your memory 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading your memoir.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m seeking a literary agent (or publisher) for my memoir series; one in final edits (Girl Goes North), 2nd one is drafted. Reflecting on our past gives us so much insight into how God has connected and intervened in our life. He’s called, nudged, whispered, and showered me with love and protection all along for over five decades! It convinces me, life itself is for spiritual development. I’d encourage everybody to write their memoir – and can’t wait to read yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My dear Mitch, I truly believe that your memoir will give all of us the beautiful gifts of lesssons learnt, experiences and stories of a life well lived. So just do it! We are with you.🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Blog Lady 77 says:

    Mitch: I love this article. I really the quotes you ended with. I resonate with when you said: What matters most …. what I’ve learned from it, what, for good or for bad, it has made me. That’s the only takeaway we have isn’t it? And at the end the story, we can sleep well at night knowing that we took our lumps and got back up to go again, then we’re indeed fortunate. Thanks for the nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love the quotes–especially Woolf and Barnes. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Go for it, brother! Tell the tale and keep your humor! When you are ready for a Beta Reader you can count on me. Hey, as s exchange my novel, Chronolocity: A Fistful of Chronotons is coming. Would you like a reduced copy to give it a review? We can do an exchange. Just planning ahead.



    Liked by 1 person

  14. boromax says:

    “Remember your future well.” Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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