Over the years I have watched the 7 Up series on TV where they chose 14 children from different locations and social standing, and observed them through their lives to examine the premise of ‘the character of a child at the age of 7 defines them for the rest of the lives'. The children were 7 in 1964 and that was the show’s starting point. It has caught up with them every 7 years since, and last year was one of those catch up years as the participants were now 63 years old.
I’ve always enjoyed the show and having watched it recently, I started pondering on my own path and wondered how much of who I am now was already determined by the age of 7.
It isn’t easy to review a life journey when looking from one place (i.e. today), so I have considered how best to describe the 7 year old me and then interview the me that existed at the age of 14 and every 7 years since then. Those versions of me were strangers before starting this project, but now I am familiar with their journeys. The aids utilised have been:
- Timeline. I have mapped out my life with key things listed e.g. births, deaths, moves, jobs, homes, events, etc.
- Photos. I have photos of me from throughout the years that help me remember
- Music. I find that songs can take me back to the time I first heard them
- TV: remembering what I watched and liked at different times
- Books: pinpointing what I have read or favourite authors
- Friends: who I was hanging out with along the way
- People. Talking to people for their memories of me from the selected periods
So the project is to go to each version of myself and interview them and ask them about their journey of the previous 7 years. I will describe what I know about the 7 year old me and the interviews (to take place on 31st December on the relevant year, are as follows: