You would be amazed by the things that some people remember. Anything from the shirt they were wearing when they had their first child, to the time that they broke their arm. Most of us have thousands of memories stored in our brains. Whether it happened 5 minutes ago or 5 years, memories are constantly floating through our heads.
Soon enough, the memories will start to get fuzzier and fuzzier. You’ll remember the homecoming game of 2013, but you’ll forget the score. Years from now you’ll remember prom, but not who you sat with, or who won king and queen. The big things will be apparent, there will be Facebook photos and mementos from the night, but the small, sentimental instances will fade.
Most of the time the saddest and most heart wrenching moments are the ones that live with us forever. I’ll never forget the second semester of my freshman year at Towson. I can honestly say, those were the worst 4 months of my life. I cried constantly, pushed my friends away and listened to Bon Iver’s rendition of I Can’t Make You Love Me on repeat for hours. It has only been 3 years and I’m already forgetting what I loved so much about school the first semester. I’m forgetting the parties, the people, and most importantly why I wanted to go there in the first place.
While the good memories get replaced by more happy moments, the bad ones are evergreen. Staying with you for longer than you want. We are able to recall deaths, diagnoses, and defeat at the drop of a hat. Vivid memories of times we’d all like to forget linger like smell of smoke on your clothing long after the fire is out.
I can’t remember the family vacations I took when I was younger, or my favorite movie from childhood, or even what I was wearing at my high school graduation. I can remember the exact outfit I was wearing when I found out my friends dad had taken his own life. I can tell you what the weather was like, what the turf smelt like, and what was going through my mind hours before I heard the news. I can tell you what I ate for breakfast before the twin towers fell. And if you want, I can tell you the dream I had the night before my grandfather died.
The negative memories stick with you, they leach on and never let go. Good memories are being replaced as you make new ones. I can’t remember how I met my high school best friend, but I know exactly how my college bff and I were introduced. The bad multiply like lice, while the good melt away and are quickly replaced like ice cubes.
I’m not a scientist and I know nothing about the human brain, but what I do know is that we need to try harder to remember the small victories and the little things that make us smile. Whether that is by writing them down, or taking pictures, it is important to have the ability to seek positivity instantly. Bad things will always happen, but it is the good things we often miss the opportunity to admire.