Memory

memory

noun

  1. the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information

  2. something remembered from the past.

For the most part, I like to think I have a pretty good memory. Long-term, it's fantastic. I can remember details of events from years ago, what I was wearing when a certain thing happened, and who said what in conversations that no one else seems to remember. I'm also good at remembering the little – some may say insignificant – things. A co-workers favourite colour, or what they had for dinner three nights ago. And yes, sometimes (maybe too often) I'll open a new tab in my browser, or get up from my desk and have absolutely no idea what I was about to do. But like I said, for the most part, my memory is pretty good. And I love this.

I've been told before – with eye-rolls and the implication that I'm being silly – that we choose how we remember things. But of course we choose how we remember things. 

When I remember my childhood, it's in a late spring/early summer haze. It comes in flashes. A montage of green and picnics and stomping on the berries in the pathway by the park. It's triangle sandwiches and Sylvanian villages in the garden and midnight feasts at 9pm because three eight-year-olds can't stay awake until midnight. 

My teenage years are less flashes and more lingering. It's Saturday afternoon cupcakes and Skins and The Wombats' A Guide to Love Loss and Desperation on repeat. It's cold Februarys and then, later, warm summer evenings and sand in my shoes that I can never get rid of. 

And now, things that were once a 'last year I did this' or 'this time two years ago...' are fast becoming memories too. Albeit more solid ones. Ones that smell of coffee and a certain scented hand wash that I can't use anymore. Mid-week days off and constant train journeys and Taylor swift on repeat whilst driving through the forest. 

It might sound terribly nostalgic, all of this, but there's something so wonderful about trawling the corners of your mind and reliving things from the past. The thing is, because I'm so fascinated by it all, it means I'm also very scared of forgetting. 

And so I write things down. I record the flashes. And if they change over time and I choose to remember them differently, then so be it.