Why Time Capsules are The Best For Getting to Know You
When it comes to letting people get to know you, why should your life story be limited to one? With time capsules, the opportunities are limitless.
Read this blog to understand why saving your stories is so important for both yourself and your future.
There comes a point in everyone’s lives when we are faced with the question:
“What story would you tell that describes you best?”
Whether it is a job interview, first date, or simple conversation, it seems to be the go-to ice breaker. As if we can define our entire personality and years of existence through a single story. How are we supposed to live up to those expectations? What if we tell it wrong? What if what seems interesting to us is boring to another? Can we collectively as a society stop normalizing that question as if it does not hold the weight of the world? Every single moment we live leading up to the present is a crucial detail in making us into the person we are right now. That being said, there are larger details than others. What stands out to us throughout life should not be a defining factor on who we are. We should be able to tell a story simply because well…we like it.
When it came to brainstorming a topic for this blog, I had decided that I wanted it to be about someone who has lived more exotic stories than I could count. I decided to settle for my Uncle Brad. I think every family has that one member that is just a bit more out there than the rest. When I say out there, I mean he prefers the company of his pet dog, Napoleon, and monkey (yes I said monkey), Mookie, over people.
Brad has always had an itch for travel. This itch has lead him to various parts of the world, creating stories that my cousins and I have some living up to do. When speaking with him I was very close to asking him the very question that I despise so much. It popped up in my head like a reflex, a habit that I plan to grow out of. Taking my own advice, I decided to go with his stories that were my favorites as a kid. They in no way described my Uncle Brad’s personality in one sitting, but contributed to it as a whole.
In 1984, Brad Berman was 30 years old. Being the young, ambitious traveler he was, he embarked on a 24 day safari in Africa that would take him to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. On the 12th day, Brad found himself in the swamps in Botswana. As they headed to the local village, his guide had said they could rent canoes and explore the swamp themselves. The moment Brad learned he could do something on his own, he was already sprinting to the dock as the guides words echoed, “beware of the man-eating crocodiles” behind him. While paddling out, he did not see any crocs, but a hippo head would break the surface every now and then. While he sounds fearless, the idea of being bitten to death by angry hippos made Brad very nervous which lead him to slowly start paddling back to safety.
He was almost to shore when suddenly he felt a bump under his canoe and found himself momentarily trapped and immobilized under water (now this is the part of the story where you gasp in suspense). When asked what went through his head at that moment, my uncle explained,
“I was about 100 yards from shore, but I knew I was surrounded by man-eating crocs…and a pissed off hippo that might bite my legs off.”
You could imagine how quickly he booked it to shore. As he dragged himself back on to the sand, he noticed a bit of soreness in his shoulder. Turns out with all the adrenaline he failed to notice the casualty where the angry hippo left his mark. After being made a screw-driver by the local bar to ease the pain, he was rushed to the nearest hospital where he stayed for 10 days. He managed to leave the hospital with an outstanding balance of only $52. Thirty seven years later, a small faded hippo bite scar remains on his body along with a beyond interesting story to tell.
Now I’m sure you just read that thinking how random of a story that was, but that’s the whole point! Our lives are filled with messy stories that sculpt our personalities. There are a lot more where that came from. Whether it be making friendly conversation with cannibal tribes in Africa or vacationing in an igloo, Brad holds a lot of memories that should be kept alive. When it comes to creating a time capsule, especially a virtual one, that is what its all about: keeping the memory alive.
Brad’s house in itself could be considered a time capsule. From afar, it kinda just looks like a load of junk, but close up each item is a treasure from every place he has traveled…along with his proclivity for purchasing gigantic dinosaur models. Walking from room to room as a child I felt as if I were in the movie “Night at the Museum,” you know monkey and all.
It is hard to walk into a room like that and think it could all be gone one day. These items are tied and personalized to him and him only. They lose their meaning when they are not linked to experiences. That is why the idea of them should be preserved and passed down generations in NotForgotten time capsules. By creating a digital time capsule as opposed to a physical one, the possibilities are endless.
As we adapt to modern technology, so do our every day habits (I wrote about this in my previous blog). Where Brad had once used a journal to record each of his expeditions, he now simply writes a Facebook post that can be shared with all of his followers. Regardless of the platform, his stories are being put out there. A time capsule’s job is to ensure those stories stay out there.
A typical post you can expect from Brad is something like this:
“I usually summarize the highlights in my journal at the end of the year. 2019 was a very busy year for me including visits to Sicily, Alaska, Norway, and Finland. I also acquired a plethora of stuff from statues, to watches, to fossils, to antiques and more. Can 2020 top that?”
Little did he know where 2020 would take us. It is for that precise reason we need to document whatever moments are worth remembering. By making a virtual time capsule, all Brad would have to do is attach a link to his Facebook profile, or make a PDF of his Facebook page. Taking pictures of his journal entries would also do the trick. These memories are not only important for himself, but the rest of his family like me, and possibly my future kids. When I look for inspiration or advice on travel, I know who to turn to…wouldn’t it be cool if his family could still do that 15,20,100 years from now? Perhaps Uncle Brad has captured a place and a time in history which no longer exists in the future. .
One of the unique features NotForgotten offers their customers is linking their capsules to a persons family history (through something called a GEDCOM file). This file can be used on tools like Ancestry.com. By doing so, a long lost member has the opportunity to learn about their family history through a single time capsule.
You can tell a lot about a person and time by looking at their memories.
Don’t trust your legacy to simple "word of mouth". Make sure your experiences are stored and told the right way. When stories are passed along after long periods of time, they become like a game of telephone: confusing and made up. Having a time capsule gives you the power to personalize exactly how you want to be remembered. The video feature of having a virtual time capsule is especially crucial for personification. Using your own voice, the way you move, your smile, your physical appearance is what distinguishes you from just any other capsule, or “story”.
Take your stories and make them count. The excuse of only having "the one" no longer works. Use them all! Make a life series of capsules at every crucial life event. Live in the past, present, and future all at once. Make a time capsule worth sharing.