Sunday, 31 July 2011
Memories that were
Its a funny thing, life. Full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and other similar cliches. Never consistent, really. And through it all there exists this invisible club that dictates a set of rules you should abide by in order to classify your life as 'normal'.
What does that word really mean, anyway? 'Normal.' Anyone who thinks they have this whole life business figured out is in even more denial than Michael Jackson was about his sexuality. (Too soon?)
I'm writing this post today because I once again find myself at a very strange juncture in life.
Perhaps it's because I've disconnected so much lately, or perhaps it's because I've forced myself to grow up a lot over the past couple of years (I'm not sure). But I find myself looking at past experiences in my life with renewed perspective. Where before, merely minutes, days, and sometimes even months after said experiences, I would look back and become overwhelmed with raw emotions, (some of which were quite paralyzing), I now find I'm able to look back and compartmentalize the exact feelings I felt during those moments.
A for instance? Well, Craig Armstrong's songs from the Love Actually soundtrack would always make me well up with tears. Why? Christmas 2009. You can check the archives to get an idea of what was going down at that time. It's a bizarre fact to share, but let me explain. For months and months, every time I heard the familiar notes for Prime Minister's Theme, I'd lose it. Not sure why (well, yes...). And Joni Mitchell? Done.
But now all of a sudden when I hear those songs, I'm transported back to the memory that evoked these ridiculous emotions, and I'm content. I don't go through the psychological motions of it any more. It almost feels like I'm watching a movie.
Perhaps I can equate it to something we can all relate to. You know how you'd feel when you liked a girl or boy in grade school (and for some of us, even later), only to find out they didn't feel the same way? Then you know how the emotions would consume you beyond rational thought, to the point where you would feel like your only shot at love and happiness had gone the ways of the dodo? And you know how you spent days on end after that, feeling like you'd never get over it, only to wake up one morning and not have it be the first, second or last thought in your mind?. ...Yea? Well that's sort of what it feels like right now.
I look back on those moments/memories and not only think about the experience, but also think about the way I acted/reacted to them in the days that followed. And then I can't help but laugh.
Why is it that things always appear so much larger than life in the moment? It's almost guaranteed that down the road, if you get through it, the moment will appear as a fragmented speckle in the filing cabinet that is your memory.
I suppose it's easy to lose perspective during experiences that evoke intense emotions. At least in my case. But it's nice to reach a place in life where something that initially absorbed so much thought and mental energy, no longer does. The realization that life's emotional roller coasters eventually have dips and lulls is fantastic. Especially when you initially believed the ride would never end.
I've really come to appreciate the moments not clouded with chaos and uncertainty. And I look forward to the days after a roller coaster where I'm not replaying the ride in my mind... On loop.
It's nice to be able to look back on a memory as a painting on display in the art gallery that is your life. Isn't it?
Image courtesy of Google Images