Limited storage

How do I hang to on to every memory?

When I grow old, I want to able to remember each detail of my life as vividly as movie characters do in their nostalgic flashbacks.

But there’s so much “noise” up in our heads, so that simply isn’t possible. Getting through the stress and pressures of each day is hard enough, I don’t have time to always stop and think “how am I going to make this memorable?

When the word memory is used, people often jump to the conclusion that it has to be some sort of dramatic, life-changing event or an enjoyable reminiscence. Realistically though, not all memories are the highlight videos of our lives; some are not so great, regretful, even painful. Some are just random glimpses of meaningless moments.

Do I remember in-detail that one insignificant time I got in trouble for talking during class in the first grade? For some reason, yes. But do I remember the life-changing experience of my very first day at a new school in new country? Sadly, no.

I think behind the memories we hold are cryptic messages. While we claim to hold some memories at a higher degree of importance than others, the decision to “store” up in our heads is automatic. It’s impossible for us to filter which ones we want to treasure and which ones we want to forget. If we could, wouldn’t we all delete the embarrassing or tragic ones? Any moment has the potential to become significant and life usually has a funny way of telling us that. Sometimes you look back and realize that the “little” things were actually much bigger and more impactful than you realized at the time.

I wish I could decode those hidden meanings already. Even now, everything just seems to be blurring together. It’s scary to me is that our minds can only have limited storage. What if I forget the important memories in my future? What if all the insignificant moments are the only ones that replay over and over again in my head?

By memories I don’t just mean stories and photographs of what happened. I mean the things that compose your flashbacks as you daydream about the past: the sights, observations, perceptions, and reactions. So yes, we now have internet, technology, and all of that greatness to track our lives, but will that help? It might help me in recording down a defining event in my life right down to the second, but the way I will see it and the way I will feel about it– that won’t be put down in history forever.

For some unexplainable reason, I feel the need to latch on to every detail in my life — every. single. one. I think it’s because I feel possessive, if you will, about my memories. If I don’t hang on to them, no one will. After all, it’s my life, and I have an obligation to treasure and learn from each and every moment — big or small.


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