Our ability to retrieve memories from our past and relive them in our minds is impressive. While we all have bad memories that may haunt us from time to time, we do have some great memories that seem to last forever.
What makes those memories so profound?
Every year around the Labour Day weekend I reminisce of my time moving away to a different city to attend college. I was 17 and moving to a whole new world 1.5 hours away from the only town I grew up in. It was so exciting yet frightening all in one. I can still remember the sights, the sounds and the smells of my first apartment. I vividly remember the feeling of my first day at college and the reality that I was becoming an adult. But did I feel that way then?
Why did that time of my life seem so great? Was it as great then as I believe it to be now?
“I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll
The whole deal with memories is that when we recall them, we are looking back using the wisdom of our life. Like watching a classic movie remastered for modern technology, our memories always seem so much more vivid than the time we lived them. Often, we wish we were there again, back into the space of our mind, feeling comforted by the enjoyment we had thought at the time.
If we only knew then what we know now.
But we can’t go back.
Depending on how long ago your memory resides, we are not the same people we once were back then. Our experiences change our perception of what we once were and time fades the unpleasantries along the way. Our memories become massaged, and our wisdom creates a masterpiece of the images that we behold. We can even soften the sharpness of bad memories if our life experiences since then have improved.
We are all different today than we were yesterday, our memories will either get better or worse depending on what difference you have made in your life. It is why from time to time; we check up on our memory and wonder: How far have I come?
Who created this quote?
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer.
His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem “Jabberwocky”, and the poem The Hunting of the Snark – all examples of the genre of literary nonsense.