MEMORIES

It’s interesting to me how everyone’s brains are so different. Not so much in the way that ‘you might be better with numbers and I’m better with words’, but rather our memories. How we involuntarily choose to store certain information, and not just facts and anecdotes, but the things that happen in our lives.

I’ve always felt as though I remember every waking moment I’ve ever lived. Obviously, that’s truly impossible. There are many days and evenings that wore similar colours and emotions, they blur into one big pretty picture. But if someone were to bring up a specific event to me, I can almost always transport myself back to the moment. I could tell you what most people were wearing, why we came to be there, a few conversations that may have been had. This is not me bragging about my fantastic memory– it’s not even photographic. Perhaps I can reminisce clearly on a moment in time, but I couldn’t tell you all the information on a page after looking at it for a mere minute. I just find it fascinating how these moments are banked and filed in the back of our minds.

Sometimes I’ll be lost in my own head and a memory from the age of six or seven will surface, and I know that I probably haven’t really visualised that memory at all in my life since the moment it happened. What brought it forward to my immediate thoughts? Besides the train reaction of thoughts that transported me to that memory, what part of my brain decided that I might need it one day to understand the way I feel about certain things?

What really rattles me is repressed memories. If anyone hasn’t seen the Netlfix series ‘The Keepers’ you need to do so, immediately. It might not be the most pleasant of experiences if you err on the religious side of things. Heck, it’s not pleasant at all really, but it certainly consolidated my opinion in that area of things. Anyway, a woman in that series experienced sexual abuse for a number of years while she was a teen, repressed those memories, and they all came flooding back to her when she was about 50 and happily married with children. She was forced to relive those moments and accept this horrifying thing that had happened to her.

How are we to know that we don’t have handfuls of repressed memories? Ones that may never float to the top. Ones that fester and grow weeds and force us to become a version of ourself that we cannot control. Not trying to get dark here, but even the depths of our mind is uncertain. Maybe we don’t ever truly know ourselves. I definitely read something the other day (couldn’t tell you where– there’s my fantastic memory in action) about how the person we think we are is different from the way each person views and experiences us. So we’re not always the person we know ourselves to be, but a multifaceted gemstone that glitters for some and looks dull to others. No matter who you are or what you do in life, not everyone is going to like you. Some people are pieces of your puzzle and others are of a whole different game.

I’m a very nostalgic person (I even wrote a piece on that, have a flick through the categories section to find it) so sifting through my memories is something I do often. I like to see how time has changed things: relationships, appearances, our overall outlook. When I’m lost reminiscing it occurs to me how crucial time is to the memories we have filed. Does our opinion of something alter the way we remember it? A certain moment in my life looks completely different to the others who were there– maybe I thought I was being hilarious and they thought I was being kind of a bitch.

The moments that link together to paint the portrait of our lives are simply that: ours. How we remember these moments and let them unintentionally define who we are is, to me, uncertain. We can control how we respond to situations, of course, and that tells a lot about who we are, but can we really control how we perceive and remember stuff?

There’s probably a scientific/psychological explanation for all of these musings. But I’ll leave them at that.

A.

 

 

Side note:

I often feel like when I write little observation/musing posts that it sounds like I’m leading up to a point that never eventuates. Let me know if you’re getting that vibe too. Not sure if I like that.

 

 

 

 

SHUT UP ABOUT WRITING. TALK ABOUT TRAVEL.

Sometimes, instead of actually sitting down and writing something, I’ll read through my blog and feel like I accomplished something. But not really, that was just me admiring myself accomplishing something that I posted a few weeks ago. So in actual fact, I’ve wasted my time again. Turns out, most of my posts are about writing, my generic thoughts on my fairly vague life events, or whinging about how little writing I’m doing and making lame excuses like, “Oh, I was studying”. No I fucking wasn’t.

SO NOW, I’m gonna talk about something that is completely mind consuming as of late. A little something I’ve discussed before, in more ways than one. Traveling. Traveling Europe. I’m going back, bitches! I started saving the other week; I put $200 away. Sitting in 1 of my 2 copies of Tolstoy’s War and Peace next to my bed. Do you think that’ll be enough?

The plan is to leave in December (alongside my dear pal, Olive) and come back sometime in February, just before the dawning autumn uni session commences. Maybe by that point I’ll genuinely feel like a second year student; and not the third year student that I’ll actually be.
I never really understood the whole concept of “the travel bug” while I was over there (have I said this schpiel before? Cause you’re about to hear it again), but since being home, I daydream of getting lost in a city and thinking, “what is there to do here?” and then wandering around aimlessly, until I find it. Truth is, you don’t usually understand the beauty of a foreign city until you’re not in it anymore. Once you’ve left it, you kind of long for the essence that it holds, the things you can’t describe to people. You know how sometimes you’ll get a whiff of something, and it reminds you of a certain time, a certain place in your life? Like how every time I smell gardenias, I feel as though I’m a fresh 12 year old, just arriving with her family in Australia, nervous at the prospect of making new friends. Or every time I wear my Coco Mademoiselle Chanel perfume, I remember being 15 and vomiting at 11:30 on NYE and my best friend losing her virginity.
Foreign places are like those scents that force your brain to rush back in time; except they’re the scents you’ll never really smell again, unless you travel back. It’s not something you can explain to someone. But then, someone will mention that they’ve also been to Barcelona, and you’ll discuss a building you both saw. You’ll know that you both once stood in the same place you are now, and also the same place on a random street corner across the world, and you two will share a little something. That’s a little something that induces the travel bug.
The other, and here’s the reason I couldn’t go traveling alone, even though I like to think I could; it’s the random shit that happens with you and other people that you don’t remember. Not the “remember that time we sat in a cafe in Dublin for 6 hours because we were all too scared to ask for the cheque”. It’s the ridiculous games of eye spy and would you rather that you play on countless bus and train trips, that they all blur into one. It’s the random little chats that you have while waiting for the shower. The “who’s turn is it?” game you invented, where you could ask any ridiculous question, open ended or multiple choice, just to kill a bit of time. None of these you remember (apart from when Olivia asked what the best sandwich we ever had was, and only I could answer), because at the time it seemed rather hollow, but in actual fact it was those little moments that made the whole trip what it was.
So, yeah, I’m going back. To further explore cities and their countries to a greater to extent. To see new places I haven’t ventured to yet. To meet people I might not have met otherwise. To get shit cold, to get lost, to get tired, to get grumpy, to get drunk, to get homesick. To be spontaneous. That’s the ultimate plan this time. A random from the youth hostel asks us to go on a walking tour with him and some mates? Ima say yes. Cause that’s when those little, inconsequential moments happen that you don’t really remember, but you almost kinda do.