What exactly are memories? You will get used to me picking some arbitrary concept and attempting to analyze it from every angle. Today’s arbitrary concept or idea is memory. I feel its fitting to start with a clear and honest understanding that, while this is MY story we may encounter a few complications due to the fact that I just don’t remember some portions of my life. Also, I am not honestly sure that I can say that I have much trust in the accuracy of the things that I do recall (or what any of us claim to recall for that matter). But let’s get back to my original point what is a memory?
Memories can be thought of in a variety of ways, one is from the perspective of a neurologist who might give you details about how memories are created when a connection is made between neurons. They would tell you about the types of memories (long or short term) and where certain types are likely to be stored in the brain. A cellular physiologist would discuss electrical impulses and proteins that have been recently been implicated in memory storage. A psychologist might tell you that memories are simply how we understand who we are. Its how we make sense of the world around us, how we learn, and how we love. Dope, right?! I like them all, and I kind of mush them all together into a memory meaning mountain (say that three times fast!!). Memories are comprised of the neural connections, impulses, and proteins that help us store the stories of our lives. Its how we are able to uniquely be ourselves, no one on earth will remember any single event exactly the way you do.
The reason the concept of memory is so intriguing to me is due to how vivid some of my memories are while others hide in the shadows and yet others do not exist in any space that is accessible to me in any way. So, in essence, there are parts of who I am that are completely unknown to me. Years of my life that I can only experience through random photos of me at a relative’s home and brief antidotal stories that I have partially integrated into my memory bank to help fill in the gaps. While the stories and jokes (there will always be jokes) help a little, these incorporated memories are not truly part of how I know who I am. They are stored outside of my own memories in like a little bin or better yet like on an old VHS tape of an 80s sitcom that I can pop in for a few laughs from time to time but they don’t actually feel like MY life experiences and honestly, they are not. They are someone else’s interpretation and perspective of a moment in my life. And I’m stubborn, I simply refuse to incorporate foreign information into my hard drive. It feels fake, like a lie, as if someone gave me a script and I was pretending that it was my real life. I believe the stories, for the most part, none of them are bad, but for me, I didn’t live that, therefore to me, it never really happened, so it’s not a true part of who I am. But then again maybe the space that was created, the unknown aspects of who I am have shaped me! I am now and have always been an extremely curious person. Perhaps that is due to so many unknown moments in my life. Maybe my quest for knowledge was fueled by my inability to truly know those parts of myself.
I know what you are thinking; did something traumatic happen that I am blocking out? Something so horrible that to protect me my own mind hid it away from me? Yup, probably, possibly, most likely. I have had an interesting life filled with wonderfully beautiful moments that provided the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and many traumas that I have full knowledge of. Things that I can’t unsee, unexperience, unfeel, nor unknow. So, no I do not want to be hypnotized nor do I wish to do any regression therapy or anything else to drag out whatever might be there, I have made peace with it and I trust my mind it knows me well and I am cool with the mystery.
All this talk of memory got me to googling around on the interwebs and I found someone that I am sure you haven’t heard of. His name is Johannes Mallow, and he is a two-time World Memory Champion and currently holds at least six world records for his various memory accomplishments. I am totally in awe of such mental athleticism, I possess nothing even remotely close to this man’s abilities. But here in this blog I will use all of heart, all of my soul and all of my memories to tell you MY story The Way I Remember It…..
2 thoughts on “The way I remember it…”
Beautifully penned, transparently powerful!
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