I always remember birthdays. In fact, I remember birthdays of people who have long vacated my life. Maybe it’s because I have a spectacular memory, or many it’s because I have a spectacular knack for nostalgia. Either way, if we know each other or knew each other well at some point prior to the invention of Facebook, chances are I know the day you were born.
Most people aren’t so lucky or bizarre, depending on how you view my skill. I accept that. Sometimes it makes me angry, but mostly I recognize that a childhood friend who I have not seen in 15 years may forget my special holiday. People who I used to love are a completely different story. If you ever loved me, I want you to remember the day of my birth. I don’t need a phone call. A wall post/text/telegram would suffice. But, I want to know that you remember; that at some point the day I was born mattered to you.
Why am I discussing my birthday in the middle of the summer you may ask? Well, the idea of selective memory came up in conversation last night and it got me thinking of what I remember. I remember everything. Cruel comments, funny jokes, kisses, hugs, screaming fights, bad haircuts, hand-holding, concerts, classes, long phone conversations. My endless pit of a memory is not always a good thing. Half of the crap stored there is done so against my will, I assure you. I find myself saying “how do you not remember that?” at least once daily. It’s frustrating as all hell, most of the time.
Men, on the other hand, seem to remember things most conveniently. They have no memory of deep discussions about love, but they remember that one time they apologized and bought you a flower. They forget your birthday, but remember to call you at 3am. Priorities, right? So what’s in a memory? How much of what we remember shapes what we feel right this very second? All the nostalgia in the world will never change what is happening currently. Last night I was laying in bed, attempting to get through another New Yorker article and suddenly I remembered something. It hit me like a ton of bricks or a Mack truck or lightening: I need to stop clouding the present with my memory and actually pay attention to what is happening now.
This post is a little all over the place, but I find myself needed to take my own advice more than ever.
I will remember this day as the day I got my act together and let it go.