I don’t really like the new Facebook format, but I guess I’ll get used to it.

Memories. Sometimes they hit me like a slap in the face.

While they might not necessarily be bad memories–in fact they’re usually great–they’re also not ones I usually want to remember. It’s as if my mind is torturing my heart by making me think about something that once was and will now never be. Something will trigger it–a smell, a song, a place, and there I got off in lala land…only to come back and be disappointed that I just put myself through that, as the sense of euphoria suddenly and tragically fades. It’s a cruel process. Why do we do this to ourselves? Even after months or years have gone by (depending on the memory)…it still stings. You try to get rid of things that remind you of said memories–songs, pictures, etc. but the mind is much smarter than that; having already registered and stored more than you could ever imagine. And it can’t help it if the man standing next to you on MUNI smells like an ex (friend, boyfriend, whatever)!

One of my favorite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, plays with the idea of being able to erase memories–particularly, painful ones. You broke up with someone and want to forget them–done! You’re beloved dog dies and you can’t imagine life without them–you won’t even remember you had one to begin with. It’s that easy. There have been many, many times I’ve wished this type of technology existed; how glorious would it be to forget that time you drunkenly…well, you did anything remotely inappropriate, embarrassing and/or unforgettable while (drunk, or not) in front of/to any number of people? Or that time you got your heart stomped on? Or that day you lost someone very important? There are so many ways this could potentially be useful.

Conversely,  if you sit down and really think about it for a minute, this whole mind erasing thing is much like getting a tattoo. Once it’s done, it’s permanent (assuming you’re not considering that whole laser removal process, which really isn’t very advanced or promising yet anyway unless you have loads of money–so really it’s not an option).  And much like the reaction of one of the characters in the film; hasty, ill-thought-out decisions, usually lead to an “Oh shit!” phase that probably won’t be very pleasant as you start to second guess this very permanent decision that’s already in progress.

So, I guess what I’m really saying is that as much as I might want to erase certain memories at one time or another, I know it’s a terrible idea (as we also learn in the movie). Without these memories, how will I ever learn and grow? How would I be the (cynical, pessimistic, stubborn, albeit lovable!) person I am today without them? And what if one day I’m finally able look upon these (currently) loathed memories with fondness and appreciation? It’s just not a risk I’m willing to take just yet–then again, I’ve always been a very cautious person with a tiny side of reckless abandonment.

Anyway, I’ve completely forgotten where I was going when I first started this and I have no clue where it’s going to end up now.

It’s been said that time heals all wounds…I’m just wondering how much longer I’m going to have to wait.

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