I used to cling to my memories with the tightest metaphorical grip you could imagine. I did everything I could to ensure I wouldn’t lose them. I hated the thought of letting go of even the smallest detail. As I settled in to bed at the end of the day, I would rack through my brain, reliving every minuscule moment that brought me a jolt of joy (alliterations are awesome). So by the time I would finally drift off to sleep, my head would be full of nostalgia and my face was one big smile.
Then I had to stop.
I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on in the moment, in the present day. I would just be looking forward to the night time when I would be able to flip through the days like an old woman going through a beloved childhood photo album, stroking every picture with care and a wistful smile.
Now it’s gotten to a point where I don’t even consider them memories anymore. There are hardly any feelings left in them. They’re just words I’ve memorized about the experiences I’ve had, they’re engrained in my brain, mechanically triggering my heart strings to be pulled a certain way. This happened … I thought that … He said this … I felt like that … I know the name of the emotion, but the actual feeling, I can’t conjure it up.
I call myself nostalgic, but I guess the truth is that I don’t let myself get to that point anymore. These days I spend half my time taking in every moment as it passes and the other half fantasizing about things I know will never happen.
And I don’t know which is better.