Do I write my Autobiography or Just a Few Highlights?

gilmargl

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Earlier in the year I received a letter, I'd sent as a 19 year-old student who'd just left home, to a schoolfriend together with her answer written 57 years later! I replied by e-mail expressing my pleasure, surprise and thanks and promised to send her my news in more detail later.

I am now struggling with what to say in this promised document. I have already worked on a draft describing my:
  1. reaction to reading my childish letter
  2. marriage, divorce, children, grandchildren
  3. siblings and parents
  4. emigration to Germany
  5. career
  6. present life in retirement
  7. memories - sport - other contacts from school
The draft text is already 5 pages long. and there are still things I want to say (point 7)

If this happened to you (and you were on the receiving end) would you like to receive a fairly detailed account of my life or just a curriculum vitae similar to the one I had to write in order to apply for German citizenship. Even then I had difficulty concentrating my life (75 years) into 4 hand written pages.

I am still considering adding a few photos but that would make the document even longer! :lol:
Personally I would feel happier sending the longer document which has a more personal/amusing touch compared to a short exact summary. But, I don't want to make myself sound too important.

Help!
 

verna davies

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I would just do a general outline, mention you have lots of memories and will expand on them at a later date. Hopefully you will continue to write to each other so will have plenty of time to put them to paper. I would enclose a photo or two. How lovely that you are in touch after so long.
 

di and bob

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Keep the original and send a shorter version. You can always expand later. I'm 65 now and as you get older you think back on old friends, etc., and how you spent your life. She is most likely sorry she never got in touch with you and is trying to make amends. She may have found your old correspondence tucked away.
 

Jem

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Did you feel her letter conveyed a means to try and reconnect and continue with an ongoing relationship? If so, I would keep your response to mostly key points, with an invitation to continue building on the details. I think it would be great to start a new relationship with someone who you can talk to without only relying on "today's hot topics" or recent updates for topics of discussion, and yet still relate to because you already know this person.
How wonderful that she reached out to you!
 

Maria Bayote

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I agree with all above.
I am more of a sentimental type. If I were the one answering I’d mention some memorable times, and also those that were not shared between the two of you. I’d be more poetic, more on expressions of feelings as you write down some of those personal journeys that you are comfortable sharing with her.

And best of all, you may talk about your cats. And insert a photo or two.

it is indeed wonderful getting in touch with somebody from the past.
 
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gilmargl

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And best of all, you may talk about your cats. And insert a photo or two.

it is indeed wonderful getting in touch with somebody from the past.
Thank you for your answer - I agree but I'm not going to make too big a thing about the cats....yet. Of course, I'll mention them but, although I am fairly sure her family had a dog, I am never sure how people react to cats. Perhaps I'll send photos of pretty foster kittens and include my one-eyed cats when I'm more certain about a positive reaction. ;)

Did you feel her letter conveyed a means to try and reconnect and continue with an ongoing relationship? If so, I would keep your response to mostly key points, with an invitation to continue building on the details. I think it would be great to start a new relationship with someone who you can talk to without only relying on "today's hot topics" or recent updates for topics of discussion, and yet still relate to because you already know this person.
How wonderful that she reached out to you!
I believe so, especially as we have heard some news about each other through a mutual friend. Thank you for answering, much appreciated.

Keep the original and send a shorter version. You can always expand later. I'm 65 now and as you get older you think back on old friends, etc., and how you spent your life. She is most likely sorry she never got in touch with you and is trying to make amends. She may have found your old correspondence tucked away.
That's what I intend doing. She and her husband started sorting out old stuff during lockdown and she obviously had time to reply. Thank you for answering!

I am now on my second (hopefully shorter) draft! :lol:
 

rubysmama

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gilmargl gilmargl : that's so wonderful that you've reconnected with a school friend.

About 7 years ago, I reconnected with one of my childhood friends, and though we only touch base via email on birthdays and other holidays, I love that she's back in my life again. Her birthday was actually earlier in the week, and today she replied to my email with some recent family pics.

As for whether you should send her your " Autobiography or Just a Few Highlights", probably something in the middle would be best.

You don't want something so long, that she ends up skimming over your heartfelt message. Just start with the basics, and if she keeps writing back, then you can expand on shared memories, etc.

Do include pics of yourself, children and grandchildren, as those are things I would want to see.
 
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gilmargl

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Thank you V verna davies , rubysmama rubysmama , Maria Bayote Maria Bayote , di and bob di and bob , Mia6 Mia6 and susanm9006 susanm9006 for helping me. I was so undecided, particularly as my letter from so long ago, brought back too many memories.

I decided to send an e-mail, and received a long reply so we are now back in easy contact and news will no doubt flow to-and-fro. In my next (short?) e-mail I will write about sport - a topic which she brought up as one of her and her family's main interests today. We played a lot of tennis 60+ years ago. My last game was with my daughter and her 2 sons about 5 years ago! (The boys hit too hard for me to control my returns). 🎾 :help:

Thank you!
 
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