Friday, October 01, 2010

A Month of Me

It is a little much, I know, but I am declaring October the Month of Me.

Is it because I have little to no blog inspiration lately? Because it is my birthday month? Because I am totally into talking about myself (that was blogging's origin, right?). Probably all of the above. But it is also intriguing to think about writing more than just the old 100 things list.

You can find the 30 Days of Truth list here. Will I make it through? Probably not.
Without further ado...

Something you hate about yourself.


I skipped over the first thought (my body, duh, so predictable). And I don't really hate it. It is what it is, so onward.

So, it is my memory. I hate the way my memory works. I have a memory like swiss cheese. It does not store and read back well, sometimes it does not store at all. This did not start with children, or the various other abuses I have visited on my brain tissue. Nope. I was born this way.

It is not even a selective memory. It is just faulty. And now that I am writing this, it is getting harder to describe. This post sounded better in my head.

The thing is that I rarely feel like the events of my life happened to me. If you asked me to recall what it felt like to carry twins in my body, I cannot tell you. I see the pictures but I cannot tell you the feeling. If you ask me about those extended trips I took to Africa or Hawaii or Canada or Ireland, it is like a vague happening, like watching it from a TV screen happening to another person. There is a certain amount of distance, separation. I am right now sitting in a condo in Tahoe where we have come annually for the last 7 years and those 7 years jumble and twist around each other, none of them discrete or fixed.

And then there are those times when I tell Tim about something and he reminds me that he was there. Right. I mean we have been together 17 years now, when would he not be there? Or those times I find myself in a picture at my sister's wedding rehearsal dinner and I have absolutely zero recollection of the event. Or when I realize upon a return to NYC that I lived there 5 years and had friends and danced on stages and walked those streets every day and it all feels like a dream most times.

And it has always been like that. I would love to speculate that it is due to living life so fully and varied that I cannot retain it all. I would love to say it is because I live in the moment, because the past does not matter. But it does. It is a part of us, a part that resides embedded in our brain tissues. And I have never really liked the way my memory tissues function.

The strategy I took in earlier years was to write. I used to write these long rambling letters to friends and family and Tim that described life in detail and went on and on. In the last month, since my return from New York actually, I have crossed paths with many of these letters and they totally freak me out. They make me squirm. They are my words in my writing, but I scan through a bit dumbfounded and wondering why I would have forgotten the events that occurred of which I wrote so thoroughly. I think one shocker was a letter I wrote to Tim explaining that on that particular day in NY I had walked by the scene of a accident where there were dead people and also I was pissed because it was Valentine's Day and couples were draped all over each other everywhere and we were a country apart (same sentence, I swear). Dead people? How did I forget about seeing dead people? Jeez.

It disturbs me a lot when I think about it (Getting a bit agitated right now). And then there is this blog. Ostensibly I started it because I wanted to chronicle knits. But it quickly was usurped by my mother role and I began to write the boys monthly letters in their first year. You know why? Yes, for them. But also for me. Because I felt panic at the idea of forgetting what was happening to us, panic at the idea of forgetting them as they were. Panic that they would ask and I would not recall. And I am still glad I did but a new fold has developed in the memory game...

Now this blog shapes my memory. I go back to archives and read about the month of September 2009 and remember accurately and vividly... but only the blog moments. Ask me of the others... go ahead, ask me. And they are not there. I am not complaining, just weird. Because this online memoir will shape so much as I go. I want it to be real and true and accurate but it is filtered just like everything else.

My strategy has become a new source of unease. And the memory thing .... I will probably just go on hating it a bit.

Soho
Soho, 8.10

Come on, it was just last month, I can remember that far back. ;)

9 comments:

Claroux said...

I so need to steal this idea to get me back into blogging. Maybe I will...

Memory? What memory? Although I can specifically trace the deterioration of mine back to the birth of my kids. Before that I remember everything. I remember too much. Sometimes I wish I didn't remember things. I think it would make me happier if I didn't.

Regardless, I'm babbling because it's late and I'm freaking exhausted. But I just wanted to say that I loved reading this and I'm looking forward to reading more about YOU!!!!!

needleandstring said...

YES! A month of me, I love it. My memory is the SAME way. I don't know if you guys listen to Radio Lab, but you need to listen to this one, if you can listen to this on the drive back, it will entertain and explain so much about memory.

http://www.radiolab.org/2007/jun/07/

Bea

jillian said...

I love the idea of a month about you, especially in your birthday month. (Happy birthday!)

My memory can be like that, though not all the time. It is especially swiss cheesy dating back to when I was about 12 or less. It's weird...I can look at pictures and remember that moment, but not other moments from that time.

Gen said...

I love this month of me and can't wait to see it unfold. I really relate to your take on memories or the lack of them. I always wondered if it was because I was constantly over stimulated; still now sure I know the answer. But very happy to read your take on it.
xoxo

dandelionexpress said...

Oh gosh Amiee, can I ever relate to this! I've never met anyone with as terrible a memory as me, but it sounds like actually I have! We didn't know we were kindred poor memory spirits at the time. I wouldn't have guessed it about you - you recommended all those places up the coast for us to visit. But I guess that is because you were just there. I'm also planning (when we have kids) to write yearly letters to them, as much for them as for me. Steve and I are already doing this for our anniversary. I like to think that my memory will get better with age, the opposite of everyone else, but so far that hasn't been happening.

dandelionexpress said...

Oh gosh Amiee, can I ever relate to this! I've never met anyone with as terrible a memory as me, but it sounds like actually I have! We didn't know we were kindred poor memory spirits at the time. I wouldn't have guessed it about you - you recommended all those places up the coast for us to visit. But I guess that is because you were just there. I'm also planning (when we have kids) to write yearly letters to them, as much for them as for me. Steve and I are already doing this for our anniversary. I like to think that my memory will get better with age, the opposite of everyone else, but so far that hasn't been happening.

Dana said...

Hand to God, I remember leaving a comment on this post. Only, I just looked through and I didn't. THAT'S how terrible my memory is.
Also, I love you and this entire journey of getting to know you better.

Dana said...

Hand to God, I remember leaving a comment on this post. Only, I just looked through and I didn't. THAT'S how terrible my memory is.
Also, I love you and this entire journey of getting to know you better.

Dana said...

Hand to God, I remember leaving a comment on this post. Only, I just looked through and I didn't. THAT'S how terrible my memory is.
Also, I love you and this entire journey of getting to know you better.