Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Fear of Forgetting

I am afraid. I am afraid that, as good as my memory may be (it is mainly videographic), I am afraid I will forget something.

To battle this fear I often have a hard time throwing anything out. Each item has a memory connected to it so imagine the item being a metaphorical DVD disc, or perhaps it isn't the disc but the access code to play the DVD. In any event having the physical item allows better access to my memories.

This fear extends beyond physical items and also applies to e-mails. Of my current e-mail accounts I have yet to delete any e-mails that involves something that happened (i.e. I can delete files that include graphics and other non-event e-mails).

As I wrote that last paragraph I went back to my very first Yahoo! e-mail account that I haven't visited in several months. I had a special folder set aside for my e-mails with Linda (http://lifeontheothersideofthewall.blogspot.com/2010/07/day-i-will-never-forget.html) and was shocked and dismayed to find out that those e-mails finally had been purged.

Maybe I should have deleted the 2,678 spam e-mails I had to keep the older e-mails alive (the e-mails lost were from 1999!) but nonetheless losing those e-mails is currently making me want to find a hole to crawl into and cry.

The lost e-mails were my final connection to her. I have nothing except my memories, and now it's like having the DVD without the right encoding to play the disc.

When I sat down at my desk today I had no idea what I was going to write and can't believe how I went from wondering what to write to a major event.

I'm sure each and everyone of us has lost a special relic or token that reminded us of a person or event. To me though, I need the item to keep whatever it was real in my mind. I don't know if I am capable to describe this fully, but losing the item doesn't mean losing the memory in its entirety, instead the memory can't be accessed. That means I know of it, but I can't play the full video.

One could argue losing those e-mails was a good thing. I can only remember of them, and remember of her without fully experiencing the emotions tied to it. Will the emotions of of knowing that there was emotion there and not remember them be better than actually remembering it? I'm not sure and I think I have confused myself with that last sentence.

I apologize for the off-trackness of this entry. I wanted to hit the points that I have a hard time throwing away, or deleting e-mails because I need them as aids for my memory. Because I remember almost everything I need that aid to kick-start the memory or else it is just another video. Think of it this way; my brain is like YouTube. One can find video of almost every thing on YouTube, but only if you put in the right words to search for. If you don't put in the right key words the video will set there unwatched. This is what items are to me, they are the key words that allow me to remember and access the memory. That being so wouldn't you be protective of all things around you? Wouldn't you want all memories to stay intact?


  1. *looks at her phone with still all the text messages of her ex on it* *sighs* ... what to do, what to do... Need the space on my phone, also need the memories... what to do...

  2. I think I'd be really upset if I lost things like that, because they are concrete proof. Memory is fallible and malleable, it reshapes to become biased or idealised, or to make things seem better than they were.. Also I hate the thought of losing bits of me, and that's how it feels without concrete proof..