I don’t know when the fear started, but I’ve always been weary of growing old and forgetting my life. Seems rather normal, actually, and for whatever reason I’m expecting the forgetting to start after I turn seventy, if not sooner. Already I freak out a little when I forget the names of old friends or memories I shared with them. It makes me feel uneasy, to think I can live my one and only life on this planet and forget parts of it, basically clipping out parts of a movie reel, regardless of their emotional value. Seems like a waste.
Hence, the incessant blogging. I’ve been chronicling my life since 2010, writing it down mostly for the sake of maintaining a record of it, like a journal but more like a time-capsule with images, songs, and written things. These are the only mid-twenties I’ll ever know and to think I’d one day forget they ever happened, well I just can’t let that happen. When I’m old and bored, I want to have these written histories of my life available for review, the good and the bad stuff, so I can lay out my stiff joints on the lawn and read about my past.
Anyway, the point is, I don’t think we’re meant to remember everything forever.
Even writing it down, it’s not the same as the memory itself. I might read these words again in fifty years and ponder fondly on the thoughts and behavior of my youth, but there will be a detachment, a disconnect between my future self and my present self. I mean, you look at a picture of yourself as a small child and you think, “Who the hell was that kid?” Reading them is not the same as remembering them which is not the same as experiencing them, but second to a video recording, a blog is the closest thing I can think that captures at least the essence of what it means to be where you are right now. Because we will forget, eventually, and we will be curious about our past.
We have to forget things. It’s natural. Life is long and full of adventures, faces, stories and numbers. We have to remember to set alarms and attend meetings and see the dentist. We need room for names, addresses, and directions. We can’t remember all of our childhood friends. We’re not supposed to remember anything before fourth grade, in my opinion, and this comes from the guy who’s afraid to forget. Our brains move through life like forests. Some trees have to fall to feed the ecosystem.
In conclusion: I’m jealous of people with great memories.
But what I really wanted to say was… Wait… What was I talking about?
7 thoughts on “12. Forgetting”
Too funny. I’m always forgetting..and it does scare me. My daughter on the other hand, remembers everything. Even stuff I wish she’d forget. Ha. 🙂
Thank you! Strange how we can’t always help it what stuff we remember and what we forget.
1000 thoughts is a very noble goal. This blog is something you’ll remember for life.
Writing doesn’t just make the present clearer in the future. I find it makes the present clearer *today*.
Memory’s erratic. I’ve been remembering stuff recently which I honestly already forgot. Flashbacks. I guess the best memory is one that our subconscious can fully control.
I like your blog 🙂
I like that point of view, that writing makes the present clearer today. I do find that writing about things makes me look at them from a new point of view, maybe even think of the situation in an entirely different way. Thanks for the compliment and the follow. Glad you like the idea.
Reblogged this on bristlecone01breeze.
Great memories make us smile. But bad memories help us grow up.