Recently, I had to do a huge spring cleaning of my digital data on Dropbox, my phone and clear my emails. The year is ending, and this is a ritual (almost) that I keep so that I start each year with space.
Literally and figuratively.
And somehow, I gone through so many images, conversations and documents from January. They triggered so many realisations and newfound discoveries – be it about myself, the situation or others. It was a nice experience to go through, but I do wonder what would have happened if I never had those data to begin with. If I never had anything or any means to revisit the days I lived.
No photographs. No saved memories. No documents to read. No digital footprint. Nothing.
Will anything have changed? Would I have found a way to remember everything?
Of course events and people would slip past my mind and be lost in the abyss forever. However, the body would remember the days I have lived and maybe a trigger would happen five, ten years down the road one day. A reaction will jerk me awake and I will revisit that particular memory somehow.
But it scares me that no matter how much I try to “battle” nostalgia, I will always succumb to it because of human nature.
(I battle nostalgia because I don’t like that concept. It scares me that as I grow old, and look back on life, I will only remember the good and lie to myself. I don’t want to look past the obstacles I won and forget where I come from. I don’t want to eventually find myself constantly yearning for a perfect past that never was. That’s why I commit to writing diaries for the past couple of years. Recording as much as I can, just to try and put things in perspective should I discover my past again.)
Just because it is almost impossible to remember every day of my life down to the minute. Just because my memories will keep changing with my brain filling in gaps so everything makes sense. Just because if I remember every good and every bad, I might simply find life unworthy of living. Just because I shouldn’t live in what I have done, but live on what I can do.
When I really think about it, how much of my life have I lived but not remember? We are so ready to make our mark, to create our own brand, to be remembered by others but how much do we really remember about ourselves?
This thought scares me.