Flashback Friday Moment of The Week: 10/3/2014

by Just Juan

Today is October 3rd. My 30th birthday is just a mere 3 weeks away. While I’m excited for that occasion, today is also a great moment in history for me personally. It was on that date 14 years ago that I wrote my very first journal entry, effectively beginning the Triumphs & Tribulations series. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the 1st entry.

How I first came across this moment? It all started in September 2000. As my sophomore year at Birmingham’s A.H. Parker High was rolling along, I realized I had more of a need for a personal computer at home…one I could access at all times and get work done. The constraints of the library hours after school really hampered me so I asked my father for a computer. He responded in kind…with a Compaq Presario 1200. It was used but very serviceable. He gave it to me on October 2nd. After spending that entire night figuring everything out, I decided that I’d start a personal journal. It was something that a friend of mine from middle school—an extremely tall, lanky dude named Kevin—had done. The next evening, after some thorough research on Go.com regarding computer journals, I started Triumphs & Tribulations. I chose that name for the journal because the intent behind it was to write about the things happening in my life…whether good or bad. That first entry was just a simple introduction. It was the first of well over 5000 such entries…the only one I’ll release publicly, as in letting anyone besides me read it.

What it meant to me then? At that point, it was just something new for me. I didn’t actually think I’d be able to commit to it past my 16th birthday, which was 3 weeks later. But I did and it happened to allow me a chance to chronicle the events of my life in that crucial time period…and the years beyond.

What it means to me now? To date, I’ve written 5167 entries and, as of this past Wednesday (October 1), I’m now writing Triumphs & Tribulations XV. I’ve written some historic entries. The drama that unfolded in February 2001 that led to me leaving Parker and taking my academic prowess to Huffman. My entire career at Domino’s Pizza. 6 girlfriends, 37 different women I’ve been on at least one date with. My moments of poverty, my moments of plush luxury. The entire year I wrote Triumphs & Tribulations X with a Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball Pen and a pile of Mead Composition Notebooks. It’s all part of the history of the series but nothing compares to the very first entry. It started the story of my life on record and it’s given me the physical evidence to see my progression through the years.

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