Every day, every hour, every minute, everything I see, everything I experience, leaves a memory. That memory is gone from consciousness right away. But it is being filed somewhere in the recess of my mind. Most of the time to stay there forgotten, sometimes to be recalled. I rarely recall my memories. There are whole years from my past where I don’t remember anything in particular. Rather, those memories come back to me unexpectedly. They are triggered to the surface by a song, a smell, a particular color, or a word I overheard. By some external prompt.
Or by mementos. By something I kept, usually hidden from day-to-day view. Stored in a box or an envelope or a drawer somewhere. I don’t think I consciously keep things around me just to have a reminder of something in the future. I do pay attention to some things that I want to keep, to have them to remind me of something particular. With others — I guess it is pure luck and randomness. I don’t know why I kept some photographs from 25 years ago, why that specific ticket stub, why that postcard, why this note from work. But they are here in my possession, stored now out of sight. I know one day I will be able to go through them again. Not for a long time, though.
I don’t want to think about all that I lost over the years. Memories, people, friendships, mementos, and time. I cannot go back and redo it all, all that is gone — except in those fleeting moments of indescribable longing when pain and emotions grab me by the throat. But even then, I am aware that there is nothing I can do about it now.
What I can do now is to be more aware of the things that are happening around me. To make a conscious decision and make my choice to hold on to new memories and tokens of the present time. I already lost enough. I will retain now things and thoughts of my choice to fill a memory pool. So in the years ahead, I will have no regrets anymore.