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The Things We Remember

What do you remember from your life?

I’m a fairly reflective person. I say fairly reflective because I have know idea where I’d fit on a scale from Not Very Reflective to Very Reflective (if this were a survey).  I mean, really, how does anyone ever know what’s average and what’s more or less than average with something like this?

Anyway… I tend to think a lot about life. My life and life in general. And because I have a shit , I don’t really remember all of the little details of my life. Instead, I have flashes of . And with each flash is a feeling. Actually, the feeling is usually the strongest thing about the . If that makes any sense.

I wish I could say that the things I remember are all of the warm and fuzzies. The stuff that makes me smile. But instead, I can’t help but reflect on the hard stuff. The cringe inducing conversations and the days that made me cry. The battles I lost and the pain of heartbreak.

It’s like a sad movie playing over and over in my head. And I’m not sure why.  Why I just can’t let it all go. Stop replaying the fight I had, on my birthday, with my two best friends in middle school that effectively ended our friendship. Stop replaying the bad interview from 1992 for that job that could have taken my life in a whole different direction, if only I hadn’t blown it. Stop replaying the conversation I had with my boyfriend/soulmate in 1990-whatever that ended our .

Stop it all.

I used to think that the reason it all stuck with me was that I was trying to find solutions. Resolutions and life lessons. But I learned what I could from my childhood arguments and failed career opportunities a long time ago. Now it just seems like I’m torturing myself. Holding on to the angst.

So I have to ask myself… Is this normal?  I know it’s not healthy. All of those negative thoughts and feelings rattling around inside of me, refusing to leave.

What about you?  What do you remember from your life? Do you look back and think of the warm and fuzzies? Or are you stuck with dark memories? And if you’re like me, and you’re haunted by the mean thoughts, what do you do with them?  Do you have some special mantra to make them go away?


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8 to “The Things We Remember”

  1. Sandy says:

    i’m responding because i always identify really strongly with the person who comes through in your writing. like you, i am thoughtful and introspective and reflective. but, i don’t do what you describe here. i reflect, a lot, but even sad or difficult memories have a happy or nostalgic glow in my mind. i regret things, but i move past them. i don’t want to say i am normal and you are not, because i honestly have no idea, but i wanted to give you that perspective since you asked. i do have a few dark memories that haunt me stronger than the rest — i don’t think of them often, but when i do, nothing good comes out of it. i’ve found that the best way for me to deal with those memories is to write about them. i put them out into the world and then i can let them go, or get feedback from people and realize how my experience fits into the larger world. i hope so much that you are able to process and unburden yourself from your own sad movie memories. i’ve never met you, but i so want you to be happy.
    Sandy recently posted..Veggie On Whole WheatMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thanks so much Sandy. I appreciate your candor. Funny thing is, I am happy, Overall, I feel like I’m in a very happy period of my life. I think the reason I wrote this today is… well it was on my mind. And also because I strongly believe that being a happy person (for me) isn’t about denying the angst-y stuff. Or shutting out the negative thoughts. I can’t pretend that there aren’t dark parts of me. All I can do is strive for some kind of balance. And remind myself each and every day that happiness is a choice.

      If that makes any sense at all.

  2. Ken says:

    “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, Thats why it’s called the Present”?<<< Rules to live by. It's funny how we always focus on the past or the future in our mind but never on the present. I had this same issue until I read "The power of now". I would really recommend that book.
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  3. Mette says:

    Hi. I just started following your blog and today’s post struck me.

    I too believe that I’m a “fairly reflective” person. There are times when I find myself going over darker memories. Sometimes indulging in those thoughts are what is needed to get through them – taking a few moments to go over what happened, and what could have been done better. In the end though, it’s mostly done as a way to remind myself of what I can and should do in case something similar ever crops up in the future.

  4. alanc230 says:

    Don’t recall all the details, but I recently read a piece about an experimental drug that could selectively remove bad memories. It is being explored for use with persons suffering from PTSD. If it was available, would you ask for it to remove your painful memories? Would anyone?
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  5. Megan Jones says:

    I am very reflective on the little moments in my life where I felt a shift. Maybe it was the way I see self changed or what I wanted from something or someone changed or possibly what makes me happy changed. I am constantly thinking about what were the possible factors that caused that shift and what have been the results. I think that these are pretty healthy ways of reflecting because I try to not give them a value judgement but just accept them and try to learn from them.

  6. Sarah says:

    I most definitely can relate. In fact reading this made me feel better about how often the awkward and painful memories resurface. There was this time I was working at CPK when I was in college. One day, I had this lone woman sit at my table. She was very polite, middle aged pretty woman. When I gave her the check, she asked me what I was doing, I told her I was in college yada yada. She gave me her business card (she worked for Theory) and said if I ever wanted to do something else to call her. Of course being the know-it-all 19 year old I was, I tossed it in my purse and forgot about it. This is just one of the many memories I have that makes me sick to my stomach. I wish I had some type of mechanism that would allow me to just move on from all the stupid things I’ve done, but until then….

  7. I find I literally need to keep a notebook or similar to remind me of all the happies. My memory is atrocious and like you I find myself re-playing all the sucky times.

    By keeping notes of those times I feel all fuzzy and warm and like the smile is going to rip a hole in my cheeks, it helps re-align my thinking.