31 More Things – 11 – Memory

These are from Ali’s 31 More Things class. More context here.

So here’s my day eleven – memory.

(journaling below)

I have very few memories from when I was a child. It’s not that I had a sad childhood or anything, it’s really that I seem to have a really bad memory. I remember the shirt in this picture. I remember how much I loved wearing it. I remember Yona teaching me how to read on mom and dad’s bed. I remember going to Polenezkoy. I remember riding the camel. I remember long car trips and my singing Tembeli Tembeli, Oy so much that Dad had to pull over and ask me to stop. I remember getting carsick, a lot. I remember the fights and the divorce but I also remember the moment my parents told me they were getting back together. I remember going to the wedding. But I don’t remember much else. Not until after fifth grade.

Which is when I started keeping a diary.

I kept diaries for years. All the way through middle and high school. Even a little in college. And then I started a blog back in 1999 when they were first emerging. I’ve always had this need to write things down. My feelings, yes. But not just my feelings, also my thoughts, what happened, what I learned. I like to write it all down.

I think the reason I like writing things down (and taking pictures) is because I know that my memory is not very good. I know that I tend to forget so much of what happens and so I use these tools to help me remember. To help me freeze these otherwise ordinary moments of my life. To help me see that all of the magic of life is in these fleeting moments. So when I preserve these moments, I get to preserve some of that magic.

I know that our memories aren’t perfect. We rewrite history all the time. We are selective with what we remember. And even selective with what we forget. And maybe it’s not important to remember it all, perfectly. Or at all. Maybe we’re not meant to look back. Maybe we’re not meant to relive the moments again and again. Maybe we’re meant to experience them, learn what we learn then and then move on.

I know they say that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it but maybe my bad memory is yet another sign that I am supposed to be here, now and live in this moment and soak it in and be present to my life as it happens. And maybe that’s all that matters.

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