I finally understand why some people don’t keep photos, brochures, or other memories. The realization hit me as I was browsing through a friend’s blog, when she wrote about what had happened to her these past few weeks– how she believed in the end of something, only to find out that it had to end, period. Scrolling back to February, there were some photographs she took of much happier times, and I could think of no less than those moments where she felt she was genuinely happy.
History is learned for people to try to understand the present because of what was left behind, of what used to be the norm, of what was before time aged us all. Keeping a photograph, a ticket, or even an academic paper supposedly reminds us that Event X/Y/Z happened at some point, that we had this moment, we watched this film, we aced something. But sometimes holding onto these things could kill us because some of these memories don’t necessarily explain the present, but instead deviate us from finding the right answer.
I have moments where I look through old pictures on my phone, read old conversations, listen to songs I was told to listen to, and even to start watching shows I was told were really, really great. Memories like these don’t only hold moments, but people (thank God I never attached anyone to a particular song, except when I’m recommended some singles here and there). You’d remember the first time the song comes on the radio and you’d find the concerned one humming to it lazily, or at that party you were in a few weeks ago. You don’t remember the words, but the people.
It’s what makes everything more difficult to let go of, I guess, because people don’t only dominate in the real sense, but also in your head, in every little corner of your life.
Memories like these can also asphyxiate you, in a sense that you can’t shake off the feeling of not knowing why this all had to end. You are in the present, trying to burn your brain, churning up every reason known to man why they walked away, why they flew to another country, why they suddenly throw eye-daggers your way. You look through your archives, wondering what went wrong. A day can make a difference, I told myself one time, but how much damage could have possibly been done? You hold onto these memories because you’d wonder if they’d come around and become what they used to be. I think the reason why change is difficult for most people is because the very stewards that dominate the earth change in such a snap, and the others who want to hold on are gripping on the sunken sands of the hourglass. They’ve sunk, there’s no going back.
(And you think reincarnation is non-existent? They can never be roaches before your very eyes, but they could very well collect their characteristics. For some, at least.)
There’s no denying it: you change too. You may not realize it, but you find yourself not missing them too much, because things that are lost can almost always never be found.
But the best thing about these memories is that they are a reminder that you are capable of doing these again, that you can be happy, that you can love and be loved. The storm will stop if you will it, as the cause for the chaos is always from your own self. The rain won’t pour any longer eventually. And you can look back and say, “I was happy once. I can be happy again.”
“When first love ends, most people eventually know there will be more to come. They are not through with love. Love is not through with them. It will never be the same as the first, but it will be better in different ways.” – Every Day, David Levithan