I never want to do a daily project again.
I've never been a super organized person. I go through phases, but I'm usually better at making a mess than cleaning one up. It's all well and good until the mess piles up, then I hit a breaking point, clean it, and start all over again.
I've been pseudo-organized with my 365 projects; the files for the corresponding year are poorly named and not ordered numerically, but they sit safely tucked away in that particular year's folder. The Vlog was my magnum opus of organization: each day was assigned to that day's folder with all the footage and photos from that day. If it weren't for that project's 2 TB of size, it would be almost nearly perfect to archive and store.
The podcast, due to its infrequency, has also been pretty easy to organize.
The 4 years of photo projects, however, with thousands of unorganized and poorly named files has been the bane of the last week. It may even take weeks to fully complete this project.
What have I learned through this?
1. Organize as you go. Don't be lazy about file management. Otherwise, the ground will crack open and you will fall into the pit of data transfer hell where you will be moving hundreds of GBs of files and the power will go out and make you have to start all over if your hardrive survives the surge. It has quickly become a Sisyphean task.
2. You can never have enough hardrives, but I'm grateful it's 2016 and not 1986. Instead of a tower of boxes full of prints taking up an entire room in my house, I have about 7 little boxes sitting on my desk. It's amazing how cheap storage is these days. Another 5 years from now, no telling how many of these I'll have.
3. Delete the multiples, don't delete the seemingly-useless snapshots. I have a lot of bad photography on my hardrives, including those crappy iPhone photos. What I've found, the more time that passes the more meaningful those useless snapshots are. Those impulsive video clips that you record will actually have value to you in about 5 years. It's not the well-produced and polished photos and videos that are as much worth keeping as the accidental little moments you've totally forgotten about. I've gotten more enjoyment looking through my smartphone pics than anything else during this process.
I've developed this need to make everything sharable. There's a ton of stuff I never post because it may be an inside joke or just a small, unimportant moment. This habit has really gotten me to only take a photo or video when the time is right for something "good". I take way less snapshots and clips than ever before, because my mind has shifted towards the self-serving virtual shrine that I have created. (don't worry, i'm not going to delve into the tired discussion about how social media has changed us or whatever college-level insight into the world that I can get by smoking "that good stuff")
The two months since my vlog ended, I'm trying to build my old habits back. I want to archive, document, and catch little moments that were meant to be forgotten. I've been trying to shoot random clips of Anna decorating the Christmas tree or my dog torturing a bug. Things that will be valuable to me or even my future children (this is not a revelation that we are having a baby) down the line.
It's funny too, because the one place I feel comfortable taking those snapshots is Snapchat. And guess what? They disappear after 24 hours! They won't be able to accrue any sort of value because I usually forget about them after adding them to my story. If we only shared the grody photos with Snapchat, how could historians find out anything about us? All the tiny real memories will be gone, but the fake, well-put together memories will be all we have left.
"What is it, Xardox, what did you find?"
"It seems this tribe worshipped a huge white wall."
"A what? A wall?"
"Yes. If I had to guess, this frothy, appetizing liquid was used as some sort of hallucinogen so their minds could project all sorts of images on this "wall"."
"Hmmm. I see. And maybe they all wear the same hats and tattered sackcloths as some sort of humbling ritual?"
"It would seem that way, Zarthenu. It would seem that way."
Wow, turns out this did become an uninspired observation about social media that much resembles how one would discuss it should they be on "the grass". Anyway, take more snapshots of family and friends. Keep them to yourself. Pull them up in a couple years. Enjoy. Repeat.
That's what my week has been. One part pain in dealing with my chaotic and unorganized past self, and one part nostalgia for the fun times that "Past Will" had.
Until next time, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas!