My memory is poor. I can hardly remember things from day to day, let alone from year to year. This has caused me a sort of “separation anxiety.” I feel a separation from everything that has happened to me in the past, and the distance is always widening, with only the sketchiest memories to connect then to now. And it causes me anxiety, more so with every passing year. Sometimes I read things that I’ve written, and I know that I wrote them because the words sound like mine, and the events they describe involve people that I know, but I don’t remember writing them. That scares me.
Another side effect of this poor memory is that, though I learn things as I go along, I don’t always remember what I’ve learned. There are probably some epiphanies that I’ve had dozens of times. I suppose, in a way, it’s cool to keep rediscovering things. On the other hand, lessons that could be helpful with everyday life ought to reside at the top of one’s memory, where they’re easily accessible.
My memory issues remind me of the movie “50 First Dates,” in which the main female character has brain damage that prevents her from forming lasting memories. She forgets while she sleeps, so every day she wakes up in her past, not remembering all the things that have happened to her since the accident that damaged her brain. Her solution to this terrible problem is to keep a journal (later, a video diary) of what has changed in her life. She leaves it out where she will see it first thing in the morning. Every day she reads/watches it and catches up with her own life.
Though the movie was presented as a comedy, it’s not really funny. I get sad just thinking about it. But I think sometimes I am a little like that character, and maybe her solution could be helpful to me. So I am visualizing a new project, something to remind me every day of the lessons I have learned, and why they are important.