I am haunted by the passage of time. For some reason I feel like time has now caught up with me and all those things that I have been putting off and saving for a rainy day are now do it or you never will.
I don’t mean for this to be a macabre post. No this is different. I need to explain how my memory works.
My mind works in file cabinets. I as I go through my day I take what I've learnt or dealt with and place it into a file under that specific day under that specific month, under that specific year. Just like how most people may organize their pictures and videos on their computer, I have to timestamp everything I have done.
It gives me perspective. It allows context. Growing up, I most certainly didn’t have a photographic memory. No, if I did, well, my life would be exceptionally different.
I grew up with a memory that time stamped everything and placed it into the corresponding drawer of that year. So I could open it later and reference it if needed. Literally, that is how I catalog my memories. It as a child through my twenties that was fine. You could name a specific date and I could in general tell you what I did round about from there. I may not have been able to recall that specific day but I could tell you about a day that was nearby it.
And that gave me comfort. Because it placed a context in my world. If I needed to reference something I went to the earmark and immediately pulled the information I needed.
I have come to learn that is not the way everyone thinks. And I panic as to how other people can live that way. I have specific conversations with friends and family about an incident. I time stamp it and file it away. a few years later, something comes up to reference that moment, and that very same person I was talking to has no recall of that moment. I list of the details of where they were, what they said what may have been playing on the TV when they said it. And they just laugh it off saying, "Oh I guess I just don’t remember."
And it is no big deal to them.
No big deal to them??? It's a huge deal to me! Suddenly I am the only one in this entire world who knows what transpired that moment years ago. To everyone else, it's gone. It may never have existed. And I panic because you have to remember these things. If you don’t, if you can't place that context in the relation with where your life is now, how can you function??? How can you move forward without worry?
Which brings me back to the fact I am haunted by time.
I have slowly begun to realize I have needed to walk by a whole lot more file cabinets to get to the ones from my childhood. Or to even high school now. When not so long ago that was instant recall, I now have to maybe go to the basement to find those files because so much has happened since.
And the scary part? It's not that fact that I have to metaphorically walk farther to access an important memory.
It’s the fact that I can walk that far, open the drawer, and realize that the file is damaged or missing.
Most people will lose a memory without knowing it. But not me. I KNOW when a memory is missing. And that is the most infuriating part of it. Because I know the culprit.
It is Time.
There is a quote in Star Trek Generations where the villain tells Captain Picard that "Time is the fire of which we burn."
He was desperately trying to get to a place where he could relive those memories. Not necessarily because he was losing them, but because he took comfort in them and no longer wanted to live in the current world.
But that phrase is all too true. You see, I am not only cursed with the knowledge of that I am losing specific memories due to time and age, but I am cursed to know the specific memories that OTHER people are losing.
And sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.
Now for the record, I am fine. More than fine. I have a wonderful family and wonderful children. The two of whom I can already recognize have the same ability I do when it comes to memory.
In fact I have nothing but good things to look forward to.
Yet I am dogged by Time, constantly reminding me that with every passing second, minute, and hour, more distance is passing between me and what I used to be, in whatever era over the course of my short life.
I have eventually come to terms that I am not in control of Time. The funny part is I never was. I was under the illusion I was but nonetheless, it was a big step. I recognize that in any other era before me, I may have slowly grown cranky realizing how age can tinker with my mind. Which is in effect my soul.
But I have noticed a paradigm shift over the course of my last 10 years.
Facebook has a convenient feature that tells you what happened on This Day in your previous posts. I love that. It is the physical embodiment of what my brain does!
There are other photo/storage video programs that allow you to scroll through your entire library online. And It places dates to all of those files, those memories.
When I was in college, I took pride in the fact that I could memorize my schedule, my practices, my exams. I looked down upon the idea of a Personal Data Assistant. I was better than that!
Yet my senior year, I found my schedule to be too confounding. I eventually purchased a personal calendar. Yeah the kind you fill out by pen and can leave in the small front pocket of your back pack. It was a life saver.
And when I look upon that, and see that even then I didn't have a full graps on my reality atg that very moment, maybe I never had a full grasp on my past. So I treasure these new apps and programs. I need them. They are my firefighter to the burning of the files in my mind.
And while I will never win in a fight against the passage of time, at least I have assistance. And this allows me the opportunity to move on. Share the present. Experience the new. And have little worry that I will lose that experience in the long run.
It's been theorized that by 2042, computers will be sophisticated enough to back up the human brain. Which is a big deal. Think if a future where you go to bed and plug your brain into a computer and back everything up. Then the next day, you get into a car accident and die. Rather than your family losing you forever, your being, your memories, and experiences are saved. And can technically be downloaded into a cloned body. Who will have all the memories of you except for that tragic day. Which isn’t too different from actual victims of tragic accidents who live!
It is immortality. And soon.
But we have that now, in a way. It is becoming more fashionable to share your life on social media and save your precious moments on cloud storage programs. Its crude. And it certainly doesn't bring back that person.
But at least with those programs, that person, that memory is preserved.
And it still exists.