remembering and forgetting

6:13:00 PM

Today I had a bunch of insurance papers I needed faxed and I went to a nearby office to do so. The man behind the counter took a minute to help me because he was talking to his co worker about the tv show "Hoarders" I handed him the papers to be faxed and he asked me if I liked Hoarders. I told him that I saw an episode where a really old lady had like a million dolls. He faxed the papers and told me to sit down and wait for a confirmation fax to be sent back. So I did. No more than five minutes later he poked his head over the counter and asked if I needed anything. I told him he told me to sit and wait for the confirmation fax. His response was "was I the one who helped you?" It had been five minutes and he had helped maybe one customer after me. So it was a little odd but I said yes and he gave me the papers I needed, apologizing and saying that they had a lot of faxes come in at once. I thanked him and left, feeling very forgettable. It was just a small thing but it got me thinking about remembering and forgetting, and which one is better.

I once had a book in my possession called "The Woman Who Can't Forget." I, admittedly, didn't read it in its entirety but read large portions which I found interesting instead. The book is an autobiography about a woman who is 40 years old and remembers everything that has happened to her since she was 8. You give her a date she'll tell you what the weather was like, who she saw, what she felt like and where she went. She can recall every detail. I remember reading one section of her book that said when she recalls the events she does so so vividly that it is as if she is actually back in the moment it happened. A memory of a death is triggered and she re-feels the pain. Her mistakes, her shortcomings, every bad memory is amplified because she can never forget them.  I remember reading that and immediately abandoning my dreams of having a perfect memory. I realized that to remember is a blessing but sometimes maybe we need to forget as much as we need to remember. Sometimes I think it's forgetting that keeps us in the present.

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