“Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food.”
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently. Why hold onto all that?
And I said,
Where can I put it down?
Maybe we should stop referring to past regrets, memories, decisions, moments, whatevers and simply refer to them as eternal things. Maybe then we could just accept when they happen, in the moment, that they will be our constant companion from that day on.
Maybe then we could stop with the incredibly silly advice of “you need to let that go” or “what’s in the past is done” <as if these trite-isms will magically make the past disappear>.
I say all that because no matter how much anyone tries to convince us and coach us … and no matter how much we, personally, try to convince ourselves and coach ourselves … we cannot leave a memory, our memory, behind.
Sorry. Harsh truth. We cannot really ‘put it down’ and then keep walking.
And, you know what?
That’s okay if you just frickin’ accept it rather than fight it every step of the way <investing energy every step of the way>.
I could argue that if you take on this mindset you never really leave anything behind … BUT … you actually learn how to set it aside in the appropriate moments.
And, in my pea like brain, that is what matters. I honestly like my memories … even the bad ones. They make up who I am today and represent some aspects of who I was yesterday. I attain more each day and rather than discard some I have found that … well … human memory space, unlike a thumb drive, does not have limited space. It all fits in there.
Good, bad, boring & exciting. They all fit in there.
And I like the fact that when I want to, and when it may be good & helpful to do so, I can troll my memory banks and think about a memory or two.
But they don’t overwhelm me nor are they constantly whispering in my ear.
I think by me accepting they are eternal they know I am not trying to kill them off … so they are comfortable taking naps and long sleeps in the comfort I am not going to grab a pillow and suffocate them in their sleep.
Sometimes they wake up and say “pay attention to me” or “well, I am awake, what are you are doing and what have you been doing while I have been sleeping?” and sometimes, just sometimes, I am glad they wake up when they do and make me pay attention to something that maybe I had stored away and forgotten.
And, yeah, sometimes they wake up at inopportune moments & times and demand I pay attention to them when I would much rather prefer they would just shut up.
“The past is never where you think you left it.”
Katherine Anne Porter
I may place a memory in some drawer labeled ”sad regret” only to go back at some point and find that drawer empty … and open the drawer that says “empowering self-enlightenment.” Time, context & experiences can actually move the past into different slots than where you may have left them. I imagine in some way you are actually reinterpreting the past because of all the experiences since then.
Here is the weird thing about ‘the past’ that maybe should make you sit & ponder a bit. The past is not some stone placed somewhere on your Life path. It actually exhibits characteristics more like a loyal pet. It will follow along sometimes slowly, sometimes fast … sometimes behind and sometimes beside.
I am not a psychologist nor am I some Life coach … just an everyday schmuck who has had a shitload of experiences in Life and figured out trying to ‘leave behind’ some past memory & experience truly has a snowball’s chance in hell.
And it has worked out pretty well.
Your past is never where you think you have left it so you may as well bring it along.