I can’t Remember

Blog No. 76

Have you ever had something exciting to say to someone (friend, family, coworker, stranger) and they were the person who told you in the first place? I’ve done that. I did that today. I have a terrible memory. It has been one of the worst and best things in my life. I forget birthdays and I used to forget homework assignments, but I also forget to be mad at people and I get to reread books over and over again. It’s a mixed bag but the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is a perfect explanation of my memory.

I often forget to do things, I always have to set reminders for myself and ask people to text me things (sometimes several times). I’ve gotten better over the years. I finally have a day planner (that I actually use – most of the time). My dad has a system that he uses that works for me more often than not. He will put something out of place that is related to what he wanted to remember. It’s a good method, but it requires me to see the thing out of place in enough time to get the thing done, and to remember why the thing was out of place in the first place. That may sound ridiculous, but I have put something out of place in my car so that I would remember to do something on my way home from work, and have no idea what it was until I was home (or when the forgetfulness bites me in the ass). Email has helped, but if I don’t stay on it every day, things get missed (or buried).

I don’t have ADD or anything actually preventing me from focusing on things. (Not anything that I am aware of anyway). I can stay on track with things, assuming I was able to get started in the first place. I just can’t seem to hold onto things when I’m not in the moment. Consistency really helps. If I work several days in a row or have a similar active schedule for a period of time, my memory gets better – but when I have anything more than a couple days off, the chance of me forgetting to do something skyrockets. The moment I change gears though everything goes out the window. It took me years to learn how to study effectively for me, and I couldn’t tell you more than the most basic ideas for the tests I worked so hard for.

I do have a sense of memories and when people talk about things I tend to be able to piece things together – but every once in a while I think I’m unintentionally coming up with the memories like a story. Not that I make things up, but when people talk about memories with me in them I can imagine myself there. This tends to happen a lot with my childhood. Family and friends bring up stories and after a few minutes I can picture some of what they are talking about. Sometimes I even start to add to their stories. There are those times though, where I’ll say something that I remember and everyone looks at me like I’m crazy. I have to doubt myself in those moments, because my memory is so spotty that I honestly can’t be sure if I am ever remembering thing right. Maybe I’m just an asshole who can only remember things important to himself, but I honestly try to remember and pay attention to others. I’d like to think most of my friends would say that I am thoughtful (or at least not a jerk).

On the plus side, I can’t stay mad at people for too long and I have to feel very wronged to hold any kind of grudge. Also, I get to experience things for the first time again. I’ve read books and watched movies dozens of times and I get something new out of them each time. If I haven’t been to a place in a while, it’s almost like an entirely new adventure (but I don’t go on enough adventures). If something bad happens to me, I likely don’t remember it for very long (again, unless it was egregious). Heck, I could have had tons of terrible things happen and I don’t have any idea.

On a side note I’d like to get a little weepy for a sec (but I promise I’ll temper it with ridiculous examples). We never know when the last time we get to experience something is, so it is important to try to hold onto the things that are important to us while we can. I thought Cherry Coke was lost in the wilds of Canada. That may not be a big deal for most people, but it is one of my most favourites drinks. Turns out Costco still sells them (hot tip from BenWorks). I believed I would never get the chance to have one again (unless I made a special trip over the border, and it never seemed worthwhile to me). Now I can bug my parents to take me to Costco so I can buy it. I may not be able to have it any time I want, but I appreciate it more for having thought it was gone.

I was going to make a lame joke about forgetting my topic as a segue, but I’ll just get to it instead. I’m not trying to take any drastic action for my forgetfulness. I’ve gotten to a much better place over the years and I think it’s good enough for me to ignore doing anything but the obvious, ‘be more diligent with my reminders’. I may flub people’s names (or completely forget that I’ve met them) but most people are very forgiving, I always have to make a mad dash to get gas on my way places, and I have to write silly things on my hand to help me remember what most people think of as unnecessary. But I appreciate things that I do remember and maybe all my forgetfulness has led me to be the storyteller that I am. You’ll have to go to Adventure Worlds to find out for yourself.


2 thoughts on “I can’t Remember

  1. Christian Laforet

    I’m starting to see a reoccurring theme amongst creative people: bad memories. I swear, most of the artistic people I have ever met can’t remember $#@! lol. This applies to me as well 🙂

    1. I wonder why that is. It’s a really strange phenomenon and I’m not sure how it would even work. Maybe we are just so amped up about our creativity we do what it takes to remember what’s important. And what’s important is our stories!

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