There are memories that stay with us for a lifetime. Unfortunately, they seem to overshadow those of success and achievement. They're usually the memories that once made us feel foolish, embarrassed or unsuccessful. They're the ones that got us into some form of trouble, caused regrets or were hurtful to others.
For some reason, the older I get, the more I remember and obsess over all the things that I've done wrong which can't be erased. I also have memories, as we all do of events which have been traumatic. It's as though there's suddenly a bright yellow highlighter in my brain that causes those sorts of remembrances to stand out above all others and I don't like it
This morning on the radio, they asked, "If you could, would you want to erase any memories?"
There's the argument that our memories and our experiences shape us into the people we are. Of course this is true, but do we really need the ones from the past that made us feel unworthy, guilty or ashamed? Do we want those that damaged us or affected our self esteem? What about the errors that no amount of backpedaling could repair?
Yesterday, while riding in the car, I asked hubby whether he knows of people who have bought cabbages when they were supposed to purchase lettuce. His silence indicated to me that he was either engrossed in thought or wondered whether I'd lost another of my already too few faculties. I tried to elaborate.
"I'm fairly certain that I've heard of people before who made this mistake and have brought home a cabbage when they were supposed to buy lettuce. You know, back in the day when there was only iceberg lettuce and not as many exotic varieties of vegetables and people weren't as informed about them?" I rambled on without stopping for a breath assuming this was now perfectly clear.
I was desperately seeking some form of affirmation.
"Where did that come from," he asked even though by now, I thought he'd be used to my random trains of thought.
I tried unsuccessfully to explain about a question about my past from our recent visitors and how it connected to a younger me.
"When I was five, and we lived on the island up north, I was sent to the small grocery store in town. Mom asked me to get a head of lettuce. I braved the bears and assorted wildlife, trudged through the woods and proudly went to the in town store all by myself. I picked up the ridiculously heavy head from the produce aisle, paid, and with some struggle schlept it home. When I got there, I was told that it wasn't a lettuce but a cabbage and how was mom going to make a salad for our company now?" (I guess being European, they hadn't heard of coleslaw)
I was a failure. I feel as though I can't be the only one to have ever done this but received no positive response from my spouse. He chuckled and told me to write a book.
I suppose that the crazy cabbage caper isn't the worst thing in the world, but nonetheless, I remember it and it affected me. If I had the opportunity, would I erase it? Probably not, after all, I wouldn't have been able to write this blog.