February 27th, 2012
Memories are a strange thing. So much of life goes by without ever becoming a memory. The memories we often want to keep are the ones that slip away. And of course, conversely, the things we most often want to forget are the ones we keep within us. So really, most of life is lived without retaining it mentally. Sure we have an abundance of photos, videos, tweets, and whatever else to help us remember everything that happens in our lives. Think about the kids who are growing up entirely on Facebook. I’m thankful my awkward teen years are not digitally archived.
Recently I’ve begun to write down every memory I have. A humbling exercise in writing, but also it is a chimera inducing project that may never have a completion date. Writing aside, this experiment has made me feel more in touch with myself. After all, who are we without our pasts? Of course, I’m a sucker for nostalgia. That coupled with constant reflection of everything and anything, most of my days are now spent connecting them with the past. Since I tend to be an optimistic, positive person, most of my memories are that way too. Even the sad memories are peaceful in their passing.
Dont be confused though. I’m not wistfully daydreaming my life away. On the contrary, I have only spent a minimal amount of time developing these memories into complete stories on paper.
One thing that has happened though, is that I’ve realized how little matters except the present moment. Looking back on people and things that at the time were my whole world, and now today have been reduced to a few paragraphs worth of memories puts life in perspective.
Reflecting on the past means you’re presently living in that memories future. It seems strange to me that memories never seem to care about the future. Take a moment to digest that. The same future you had all those dreams and questions about, is exactly your present moment. And again, in ten years, maybe five, you’ll be at the same place- your past’s future. I realize this seems quite complicated, but it is important.
In the very least, your present depends on it.
I realize this post may be awkward or confusing, or perhaps just poorly written. I didn’t do the topic justice, but I had to at least get the thoughts out there. I happily welcome thoughts and criticisms.