Don’t You Get Lost in Nostalgia?

For those of you who know me on a personal level, you know that I have an unhealthy obsession/fascination/fear of death, time and all things involved with growing up. Though it really has manifested itself only recently, my thought process is constantly clouded by the idea of time and aging; which, you guessed it, is only serving to drive me further from sanity. (Something that scares not only me but my family as well because I was never really sane to begin with.) What does this have to do with anything, anything at all, you ask? Not much, I am once again selfishly using this blog as a way to channel my inner thoughts into something that potentially makes sense. So, bear with me.

Because of my infatuation with time and the certainty of it’s end, my mind keeps reflecting on not only the future but of the past. Undoubtedly, you’re scoffing to yourself now thinking, “How pretentious can this bitch be? As if she is the only one who understands a thing called memories?” But, you see, I am not merely thinking of the memory itself but the time I will never have the ability to relive. The precise moment my mind is remembering is a moment completely lost to me forever. Sure, I can recall it throughout the years, but I will never get to be in that moment ever again. (If this is making no sense to you now, I doubt anything will clear up as you keep reading. Welcome to the hell that is my mind.)

Right about now you’re asking yourself, what the fuck is she talking about? I’m talking about how despite the fact my mind can remember something I did seven years ago, I only have that memory of it. It’s not like I can go back to that time physically, I can only go back mentally. And even then, I will not have all of my memories as I continue to age. None of us will. We will grow older, our minds weakening a little as we do. And the memories ingrained in us when we were children will cease to be remembered. Sure, we will have the few life-defining memories, significant childhood milestones, but we will not have all of them. Which frightens me beyond belief.

Thirty years from now I won’t remember the summer of 07, 8 years old; feeling of absolute whimsy laying flat on my back against warm, split concrete, the sound of crickets soothing my ears. I’ll never hear my mother say “come inside, Madi” again aged 41. Variety filled with youth and warm to hear. Or see her standing, lit by the kitchen lights behind her beckoning me to come in. I’ll never see that I again. I’ll never hear that again or have that again. I won’t remember what it felt like to be 9 years old, untouched by many things in the world, comforted only by the awkward hugs my mom subjected me to when I wanted nothing else than to be by myself. Fifty years from now I might have no memory of yesterday. Which, to be fair, was insignificant in the grand scheme of things but still means a lot to me now. I won’t remember being woken up at 9 am, which is the latest I’ve slept in months, to my sister, Rianna, extending an invitation to go to brunch. I won’t remember the name of the waitress who bought my Nana’s meal, just to be nice. (It was Alexandria, by the way) I won’t remember going to the movies after to see Chappaquiddick. I won’t remember the feeling of my Nana’s hand in mine as she held a heavy grip on it in the theatre until she fell asleep. I won’t remember the weird noises she made when asleep during the movie or the laugh I tried to stifle when I tried to wake her up and she nearly screamed. I won’t remember going home and deciding to lay around all day with Nick and Ri. Watching a few episodes of some tv show that I don’t even remember today. Then forcing Nick to watch Steel Magnolias with me, Ri and Nana. Sure, I can remember them, but only for so long. And that breaks my heart.

Part of my mind knows that these instances aren’t super important to any aspect of my life, but they mean a lot to me. Why — I don’t know. As I get older, new memories will replace the old and I’ll learn to live with that, but I don’t think I’ll ever cope with the loss. And realistically I know it’s ridiculous to try and remember everything, though I am going to try. I don’t want to forget my mother, or her voice, her creepily deep, raspy voice. Nor do I want to forget holding my Nana’s frail hand. Or the days I get to spend with my siblings, because once we grow up we’ll create new families. We won’t all live in the same house, hell, we don’t now. I won’t see my mother daily, or get to hang out with my baby brother Michael. Still so young in my eyes despite the fact that he’s entering his senior year of high school. I won’t get to be annoyed by Paige, who is moving out soon for her own college escapades. I won’t get to work with Kelcy and Christa, or get to go to the movies with them on our Monday dates. I won’t get to live with Nick and Rianna forever, being treated like their child as they will one day grow to have a family of their own. It’s like I am fighting a losing battle with the past, present and the future.

Maybe it’s because I hold these memories, these people and their stories as precious to me. Or maybe it’s because I am mentally unstable and horribly consumed with the past. I don’t really care to find out which, although I do know it’s more likely the mentally unstable option. But I find it extremely difficult to live day to day knowing not only that my days are numbered but bound to be forgotten. My mother would tell you this infatuation stems from my fear of never doing anything significant with my life, falling short of what I think I am capable of; and she’d probably be right. But let’s live in denial a little while longer and just call it nostalgia.

Once again, I struggle to figure out how this post relates to anyone other than myself. The only thing I can really hope you take away from it, if you take anything at all, is to keep what is precious to you present in your mind. Memories are a tender, sweet thing. A privilege, sadly not a right. I’m familiar with the sensation of losing them. Not because I’ve suffered through it, but I’ve sat beside a mind that does not reflect on the past, present or future. It is sad to watch someone lose their entire life because their mind no longer remembers. My Nana suffers from dementia and half the time she doesn’t even know who she is. It is as if her mind has been swept clean of everything I hold dear to me, memories gone as if they were never made in the first place. And even though you can’t miss what you never remembered, I fear she grieves the loss of all that is who she is now. Which fucks me up. (I don’t feel the need to wax poetic on that for you to understand the point.)

Well, now that I’ve depressed myself, I think it’s best for me to end this here. If you read through this entirely, please know this is my normal mental state and I’m far beyond the help of anyone so all you can do is pity me. Thanks for allowing me to indulge myself once again. Till next time, friends.

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