Lots of people think that personal history must be genealogy—names, dates, and places. But it’s so much more. A personal history tells the stories behind those facts—the stories of people you’ve known, loved, and don’t want to forget.
When we’re younger, we take our personal history for granted. As kids, we have fun hearing stories about the “olden days” and don’t imagine they could ever disappear. And then, as young adults, our lives are so busy that pausing to think about those stories usually happens only at holiday times (“You know, I should really write that down …”). More years pass, holidays fly by, and one day …
With a shock, we realize that WE have become the older generation. The “grown ups” who kept the stories going have passed on. Or perhaps they’re still with us but their memories are fuzzy, the family has scattered, and photos are fading. And it’s overwhelming.
If this describes you, you’re in luck—because this is a GREAT time to embark on a family history project, big or small! Turn your worry into a passion for preserving, and you’ll discover that there are still quite a lot of stories to capture and record—yours, or a family member’s.
And speaking of that family member, you may have to do some convincing. YOU may be excited about a personal history project, but some elders are often uncomfortable about being the focus of such a project or don’t believe their stories have such value. They may wonder—why bother? There is a compelling answer:
Please DO bother! Because this history IS important to somebody, many somebodies, who love you very much … some still very young, and many who haven’t even been born. Think about someone you’ve loved and lost, and how, years later, you regret not spending more time and asking more questions.
Personal history is rare, timeless, and unique—as unique as you are. Nobody knows your story the way you do. And though you may not realize it, you’ve probably been waiting a long time to be asked.
A final word about inner peace. The personal history process lifts a burden from all our shoulders. You’ve recovered the past and stepped into the future, all at the same time. You’ve established a legacy. You’ve saved lives. It’s a huge relief.
How Can Univoice History Help?
Contact me and let’s talk about a personal history project for you or a family member, or an entire family. Whether you have something already started, or have someone in mind who has stories to tell, or have an idea you’d like to explore, you’ve already begun. Good for you!
The next step is, really, to get going. I’ll help you establish your project, move it ahead, and get it done. I act as a listener, guide, recorder, and organizer. It’s often easier to have me, a non-family member who has never heard the stories before or seen the photos, ask different questions and look for different connections.
Personal history projects range from simple to comprehensive: from an unedited audio interview to a beautiful book of life history, packed with photos.
Pricing varies according to the complexity of the project. I can supply you with a rough estimate based on the material you may already have, or the kind of project you’d like to undertake. And if you’re on a budget, there are ways to make it affordable. Contact me, and let’s talk.
The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.