I always find it surprising when people remember things about me.
Little things rather than big ones. Such as cuppa preference, or when my birthday is, or whether I enjoy watching sports. I find it surprising when people can find out that kind of information, and keep it locked away in their mind.
I struggle with my memory. I’ve been called out on it by friends before, but I think people presume I am too lazy or ditzy to recall key pieces of information. When it’s a real struggle sometimes, and it worries me more than I usually let on. So to live with a memory that has always been a little… lacklustre, for people to demonstrate hugely impressive feats of memory recall will always impress the hell out of me!
You were able to make your brain give you the right bit of info? Hell, your brain stored the info in the first place?! Wow. I am in awe.
As I’ve grown, I’ve come to associate memory usage and allocation to be directly proportional to how important a ‘thing’ it is that is being remembered.
So as a bear with very little brain, this became a tool that started to chip away at my sense of self.
Each time I couldn’t remember something, or remember it quick enough, it meant that I was being disrespectful, and a disrespectful person by extension.
So where are we going with this?
While the damage I have done to mental wellbeing and sense of self is extensive, there are moments of brightness that I perhaps would not have had chance to experience without the damaging journey to get there.
This is a story about feeling that burst of joy that fills your whole body when you realise that YOUR little details matter. It is almost euphoric. It explodes within you when you recieve a token or a gesture that shows soeone has taken the time to remember something about you and done something thoughtful with that information.
Everyone loves to feel appreciated, no doubt. Imagine that feeling of appreciation, coupled with a sudden blast of self worth in the void of self hatred. It’s intense. It’s intoxicating.
This is a feeling I got when an old friend of mine got me Starbucks and had the barista write my old nickname on it. I felt it when a woman I met once 6 months ago remembered I was doing a degree in Social Work and asked how it was going. I feel it when friends drive slow around country roads as they know I get motion sickness (although it might be less concern for me, but concern over their car’s interior!).
And I felt it this Christmas, when I opened some presents from my Dad.
A Kilner Jar. Some notepaper, and some pens.
In my last youtube video, I had mentioned – almost in passing – that I had always wanted to do a year long memory jar but never got around to it.
So my Dad and Stepmum helped remove the obstacle (myself!) so I could get around to it for reals.
The theory being that I’ll be making a conscious effort to notice the little positive moments in each day, noting them down to reread in a years time as I reflect on the time that has passed.
The dark days may find it useful too. The days where the nasty voice is curled right up in your brain and tarnishing every thought that comes through your head, the days where the black dog is lying right in your lap. Those are the days when I will be able to open up this little memory jar and see honest, tangible reminders that there is some good out there in my life.
So I’ve started noting down positive moments, and I’ve started vlogging some of them. Of course I shan’t share everything that goes into the memory jar, but even having it as a potential long running themed series is enough of a prospect for me to trick my brain into doing interesting and satisfying stuff.
I’ll be keeping the videos short as much as possible, and write more in depth thoughts on each moment here instead. That way I get to vent my soul, you get some juicy life stories to read, and I can condense my videos to be more engaging!
My hope with the videos is that by sharing positive stories, other people will think about and share their own positive stories, creating little ripples of positivity throughout the world.
Even if that world, is just your own. xx