I am fascinated with what sparks a memory, at any time of the day or night and often when you least expect it. Maybe it’s a smell … a scent in the air drifting past your nose that infiltrates your senses and triggers a memory. Maybe it’s a song, that moment when you hear the opening chords to a stellar track that immediately takes you back to some outrageously awesome time and you immediately smile and reminisce, thinking of the place … that particular time in your life and the people that were part of that memory.
Photos, random thoughts, locations or a piece of clothing … they can all activate a memory – transporting you to a time seen before ~ through younger eyes, allowing you a sneak peek … a refresher of the life you have lived to date.
I travelled a lot in my younger years – it started when I was 14 years old and was part of a 6-week school exchange to Australia, not only did I meet new people and make lifelong friends, I was officially bitten by the “travel bug”.
From that period on I spent extended time in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe and a further 9 years in total, in Australia. All a long time ago so it feels now, looking back … but I still have the memories and for those memories, I am eternally grateful.
The good, the bad, the ugly … my experiences – and memories have most certainly shaped the person I am today and being able to reflect on them is an honour.
I guess in part I should thank Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for the unexpected but welcomed addition to my memory bank! Thanks to the social media giant that is Facebook I have re-connected with friends from all around the world and with that … have come more memories.
A prime example happened this morning, cruising through my Facebook feed when up popped a “Memory for you” photo. It was a scanned photo from 1997 that I uploaded some 7 years ago from the summer I spent working in my ancestral homeland on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
I looked at the fresh faced (albeit slightly pissed) Macca grinning back at me, surrounded by friends (who were very much my family at that time) – there were no worry lines, no concern … just a group of people connected by their love of travel and adventure, experiencing life – loving life. This kind of random memory makes me smile no matter what is going on in my life at that point in time.
Part of our spontaneous memory journey will also include the hurtful, painful recollections – the death of a loved one, a time of crisis or injury, the pain of a relationship breakdown, irrevocable loss … and although I hate getting flashbacks from these things I don’t want to remember, they too are important, and combined with the ‘good stuff’, makes up who we are and how we view ourselves today.
Thanks to all of you who have played a part in making memories for me, and I do mean ALL the memories, because even with the bad experiences, the ‘negative’ memories … I find myself reflecting on the lessons I have learned, I have discovered so much about the inner me, who I really am – my strength and resilience … my determination and passion, empathy and love.
Macca ~ February 25th 2016