Closets of Memories
More than Memories.
Among my family and friends, I am known for writing, reading, organizing, studying humans, loving goats, etc. In life, we all seem to uphold a reputation of some kind, whether it be positive or negative.
There are words and phrases we associate with others, sometimes colors or shapes, places like cities or park benches, and emotions or traits. We each have something to be remembered by, even if we are not quite sure what it is, and it is completely different depending on the person, which I find so fascinating.
For example, I might be remembered for preaching “silver linings” to my friends, classmates, and teachers in high school, which gives me such a warm feeling in my gut to think that maybe all of my “impossible optimism” did make a difference, but for others, maybe I was just known as the German teacher’s daughter, or that one drum major. Maybe I was not known at all.
Memories have an interesting power over us. When we associate something with a person or a passion, it becomes hard to dislodge that, which I believe to be one of the reasons that humans have a hard time letting go of a grudge or releasing the anger they have stored up for years.
We even associate ourselves with embarrassing memories that haunt us when we are alone.
Humans create memories every day.
I have millions of memories. Some of my childhood, some of school, family, friends, tears, and smiles. I even have some from yesterday. While some seem to be lost from time to time, some days I find them, and I smile or I frown, but they each make up who I am.
Along with our rooted memories, we have tons that are ours and ours alone, that we maybe never like to look at, so it is often quite difficult to share that with others and have them understand our feelings and insights.
We may not all have skeletons in our closets, but there is something tucked away in there, just for us. And it may seem impossible to let that go or open the door and share that with someone else.
In fact, no one can force you to. It is difficult to be vulnerable, and for anybody who has tried to release their emotions, you should be very proud of how brave you have been for doing so.
So, why does this matter?
It is important to remember how much your memories affect you, maybe seeing how your perspective is different than others. We each have our own opinions and morals, and we see different things every single day.
When I think about band, I see a whole family from high school, four years of an out-of-tune piccolo and “I know, but what song are we playing?”s. When I think about farmhouses, children’s books, and impactful dreams, I think of my mom and the home she’s given me, not just a roof and a bed, but in her heart, too. When I think of “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, I think of Grandma, my maternal grandmother, and when I think of chocolate syrup, I think of Granny, my paternal grandmother. And I think of my boyfriend when I see the stars fighting against the city lights, shimmering gently in the distance.
But I know that there is no one else who can relate to everything the way I do. We all have different backstories, different feelings, different memories.
Please remember to say things kindly around others because you never know what their backstory is or how deeply mere words can sink in.
Memories have so much to do with who we are as people, so make as many good ones as you can, for yourself and others, and remember what makes them special.
It is important to acknowledge your own memories so that you can be kinder and gentler to people with locked closets full of heavy memories, just trying to find the key.