I’m really proud of my memory. I’m really proud of my capacity to remember almost everything that crosses my mind in almost encyclopaedic detail. For instance, I can still reel off every single stop on the European trip I took with my family back when I was 7, as well as numerous highlights from each of them. And I’m always a whiz when it comes to trivia nights – people beg me to be on their team. Actually, it’s probably the only time people do beg me to be on their team, but I suspect that’s a whole other post.
Yes, I do have a memory that works fantastically well. Except for one thing. While I seem to be so great at remembering so many things, I’m just as good at forgetting. I forget heaps of stuff. I lose track of people’s birthdays. I have trouble remembering things I did only last week. At times it feels like my memory is like a big piece of Swiss cheese, with so many holes that things keep falling out of.
So what exactly is going on here? How come I’m so good at remembering some stuff, but absolutely terrible at remembering other stuff? And it’s not as if there’s any sort of hierarchy for the things I remember – there’s no sense that I’m good at remembering the things that are important while letting the less important things slide through. A lot of the stuff I do remember is utterly trivial, while a lot of the stuff I forget – well let’s just say it often gets me into trouble.
Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes I wish I had more control over my memory. I wish I could make conscious decisions about the stuff I remember and the stuff I forget. That way, I could always ensure that only the important stuff stayed in while the trivial stuff just faded away.
Then again, sometimes I don’t worry so much about it. Those quirks of memory are part of what makes me the person I am. The fact that I have such a powerful memory for so much unimportant stuff, while I can appear utterly absent-minded at the same time provides me with an air of eccentricity that I’m pretty comfortable with.
And now that I’ve said what I wanted to say, it’s time for me to do…something. Wish I could remember what it was. Then again, I wish I could remember what this post was originally meant to be about.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as