It’s happened to you. It’s happened to all of us. For some it’s a smell, a song, a color, an object… anything, really! To me, it’s usually light. The way the sun comes in from a window. It instantly takes me to another place without me expecting it and forces me to get in a mood. Firstly, the mood I had in that particular memory – it kind of feels like time-travel – and then instant and inescapable nostalgia. I know you’ve experienced it.
You’re at a friends house having dinner. You taste the chicken pie that looks delicious and all of a sudden it tastes just like the one your grandmother used to make when you were a kid. The memory strikes you hard. You suddenly feel as careless as you were at that moment, playing with you cousin in the back yard. A feeling of light sadness follows. You guessed it. Today, we talk about memories.
Memories are a huge part of life. They are past experiences that form our actions, our choices and the biggest part of ourselves today. People since the beginning of time have been trying to find ways to keep memories alive for as long as possible. They did it by telling stories, painting portraits, writing books and then printing them so anyone could have access and for the past century memories are recorded in cameras: photographs and video so they never die. Is that enough to keep them alive, though?
Even if you experienced something with an other individual, the memory of that incident will be completely different in their mind than it will be in yours. Memories are to a great extend – if not completely – subjective. They are formed inside your head and they are mixed with you perception of reality, you feelings, your personality and you past experiences. Researches have shown that the more you talk about something you experienced, the stronger the memory of it gets in your mind. So, you are more likely not to forget about it in the future.
A lot of people believe that we are our memories, that our lives are actually a collection of past moments. But is that so? Since everything has passed and all we’re left with is the present, are we rally a pile of memories all together or is it a little more complicated than that?
At some point, bad things will happen. You will not be who you were, neither will I. At that moment, don’t sit around remembering who you used to be, missing your life back then. There’s always a way to make it better. Benefit form your experiences and don’t repeat mistakes – if you can, if you do repeat… don’t be afraid to try again! –
We might be just a collection of moments or we might be our present self and nothing more. In the future we might not even be… at all. No matter what, be grateful for where you’ve been so far – because it’s made you, you! – and work for where you’re going to be in the future. Get to work! You have so many new memories to make.
have a magical day,
by Elena Ktenopoulou