I’ve taken to writing in my journal again. Or in some random google doc. Sometimes I write in those places–instead of here–because I’m writing about stuff that I’m not ready to talk about in this space yet. More often than not, I’m just writing stuff that I don’t think anybody else needs to read. I have convinced myself that recognizing that something is not necessarily meant for public consumption demonstrates a certain maturity I surely lacked before, but it’s just as possible that cowardice is keeping me away.
I continue to work on the things I have been working on for so long. I have this sense that I’m at the precipice of an evolution of sorts, but the changes will happen so slowly that I won’t recognize any of it until it’s already happened. I suppose that is always the case with personal growth (barring some jolting, life altering experience that shifts one’s perspective irrevocably): we shuffle clumsily in a certain direction and don’t realize how far we’ve come until we can finally look back with an altered perspective. Who knows, maybe I’m full of it, but there is this idea, this suggestion in the back of my mind, that I’m done with the bullshit I’ve been engaging in for the past decade. Or better said, I’m done engaging in it without realizing. There is every possibility I’ll keep playing these dumb games with myself, but I think I’ll at least be cognizant of them, which is progress I suppose.
And time marches on, imperceptibly in the moment, momentously in the remembering. Every day FB prompts me to revisit the posts and photos I put up on that calendar day, each year before. I am constantly in awe of how little I remember even with these visual and written cues. Was my daughter ever that small? Why can’t I conjure even an inkling of how it felt to parent back then? Especially with “memories” generated by FB, where every installment falls somewhere between farce and facade, I am gutted by how little these publish-able moments really mean to me. After the initial, ohs and ahs and wasn’t she/he cute… there is very little connection to that time, that child, that mother behind the camera. They may as well be strangers to me.
I think that may be the greatest surprise of my life (after pretty much everything I’ve ever felt about motherhood): how little I actually remember. It’s baffling to me, how thoroughly time erases what has come before. Is it my ADD? My depression? The medications I take (and have taken) to tame both? Is it just how my brain works? I mean there are some things I can reach back and touch, but even that pain–or elation–reverberate like echoes, having lost almost entirely the mass and velocity of the actual experience.*
I wonder sometimes, if I’m the only one who recalls so little without the prompting of moments frozen in time. It’s comforting to know that I’m too normal to be the only one who does anything… that simple statistics assure that I’m quite literally never the only one…
I’m one cocktail in and unsure that this makes any sense, so I’m going to sign off. I hope you had a nice (and long) weekend. I hope this week doesn’t present any unforeseen challenges, and that those you foresee aren’t so bad.
How well do you remember the past? Do you write anything that you don’t let others see?
*My old blog does help me remember, but I need that sheer volume of words whose entire purpose is/was dedicated to remembering to bring me back. And even then, I can recall very little of what is not presented in a post.