I have never had a good memory.
I remember a very precious few snippets from my childhood- moments that seem utterly mundane at first glance, except for the fact that they are all I have left of that time period, causing them to become poignant and extremely consequential in hindsight.
Sometimes I feel like I am building who I am, or who I think I should be, around these moments… because they are the only past I can conjure, and we’re all products of our pasts, right? But what happens when you can’t remember who you were? What you were like? What happens when you can’t grasp the moments that you know have shaped you?
When I think back- even on high school, a mere ten years ago- all I see in my mind is a blur… like information trying to compute, but that ultimately ends up in a big, hostile question mark.
I can’t even tell you how much I hate this.
It’s like I wasn’t actually living, or something. Because, if the person whose moments they were can’t even remember them, what good are they? “If a tree falls in a forest”… am I right?
There are few words in the english language that terrify me as much as “Hey, do you remember that one time when…?” I instantly begin to sweat when I hear these words. I feel lost. And desperate. Because… no… NO, I don’t remember it. None of it!! Accomplishments… achievements… hard earned goals…. moments that shaped the woman I am today… events that shattered me, broke me all to pieces, made me so uncomfortable I wanted to die… made me laugh until I cried and cemented hearts together… ALL gone! They are all a milky blur like laundry spinning around in a washing machine… ghosts of shapes surface every now and again, but I can’t tell what I’m looking at… I can’t tell if it’s real or false.
I am BAFFLED by people with good memories. Just… how… how does that even work? What is that even like?
Can anyone out there relate to this? This feeling like you’ve somehow missed out on your own life? Like there is no going back, and no recreating, and no possible way to force yourself to remember your OWN life? It’s like it is somehow not my own, after all. Like it belongs to the minds of those whose paths I’ve crossed… those who remember snippets of time in which I was present. It makes me feel… splintered. Ungrounded.
It terrifies me.
I’m realizing now that this is why my biggest struggle has been feeling like I am not being heard or seen… feeling like my life won’t ultimately matter or measure up to anything whatsoever. Like I am just another face in the crowd. Because, on the inside, I feel that way. I feel that it is true. If I can’t remember my own story, who else is going to remember it? If a life can’t be consequential enough to be remembered by it’s main character, it’s a lousy book.
This is what I think I’ve believed about myself and my life all these years. This has been my constant uphill battle. This is where I need to fill myself with truth. Truth that will STICK. Truth that doesn’t depend on the reliability of my memory, but that builds a solid foundation under my feet, that becomes second nature.
God has seen every moment, He remembers it all. No breath or tear or weary sigh are overlooked or unheard. Not one ever. He pours over my story like it were the best thing He’s ever read. (Chris had a picture for me once– where God was sitting at my desk, reading through my old journals– laughing along with me and crying along with me, handling those notebooks like they were his most prized possessions.)
This is truth.
I wonder what my life would be like if I were to be freed from this burden… if I stopped believing I was so goddamn inconsequential and forgettable all the time. What if I finally put my foot down and got blind-raging ANGRY and refused to let such a rotten, filthy, disgusting lies seep into my ears for even one second longer? I feel like I’m flexing against old ropes, here. Like something has to give or I’m going to be tied to this mediocre spot for-frickin-ever. How would I live differently than I do now if these ropes were cut away? Who would that girl even be???
I’m dying to meet her. I’m running to meet her.
She believes she is a woman full of destiny and purpose, and she laughs in the face of anything that tries to tell her otherwise.