Memory is a funny thing.
Photo by: Lucas Simōes
There are ones we can’t bring ourselves to forget. No matter how hard we try. Whether we want to or not. Whether they make us feel like we just took a shot of whiskey. Whether they turn our stomach into washing machines. Whether they put a black hole in our heart. Whether they make you crawl under a pile of sheets. And all it takes is a smell. Or a place. Or a song. Or a person. Anything small and insignificant to bring them all rushing back.
I’m one of those people that looks back way too much. That remembers that one time, three months ago where I said something really embarrassing in a meeting and everybody laughed. Or that time when someone came up to me and genuinely complimented me on this blog and the work I’m doing and all I could say was “thanks” and just stare at my phone. The awkward, introverted life is real, y’all.
One thing I’ve struggled the most with since my most recent breakup is separating myself from the memories that pop up in my head from time to time. Memories of building bookshelves on the floor of our new apartment in our underwear. Marathons of all the new movies we never got around to seeing in theaters. Dancing in the living room to the newest Gaga album. Cooking “dinner”, which usually consisted of grilled cheese and tomato soup. Bubble baths and Francis Ford Coppola merlot that we found on sale at Target. Day trips to Carlsbad Caverns and Old Mesilla and the Far East side of town. And all the bad and the ugly and the heart breaking things that happened in between it all.
But no more. No longer.
The other day, “our song” came up on shuffle while walking to work. Normally, I’d change the song in a heartbeat. Push the memories deep down in my gut. Pretend I didn’t feel anything. Pretend that song didn’t exist. That he didn’t exist. But this time, I didn’t. I listened to the whole song. Twice. And felt all the feelings. Let them wash over me like a wave. Let my eyes well up. Let my knees feel weak. And I let myself dance. Smile. Remember that I’m still here. That I don’t need him.
So here’s to unlatching myself from the memories I hold so closely to things and people and places and songs.
Enjoy the song because it’s fun and fabulous and you’ll have it stuck in your head all day.
Until next time,