|The whole damn point, the beginning, the reason of.
I had read a lot about why people write, and I think this might be a different angle on the subject. Read this, I know it starts as a story/history, but it’s worth the insight.
Years ago, after battling with memory loss I sought help and medical staff explained about a Cognitive Impairment that might be linked to other current imbalances.
“is this like Alzheimer’s?” I asked wide-eyed and sitting in a doctors office. Across from me a mature woman in a professional outfit silently outlined other things in my case file. When she didn’t respond, I voiced my opinion in a more pronounced way:
“I’m only 17!”
“that’s right, but it’s been going on a while and I agree with you that this isn’t normal. we’ll monitor if things get worse, there’s not much we can do as far as treatment, but I’ll set up another appointment in three months.”
She looked at me in sympathy, knowing there’s no way she could have gotten to be where she is if it wasn’t for her own impeccable memory. I had explained to her about not having any control over what stays and what doesn’t. There are things I remember that I wouldn’t mind forgetting, but mostly, important things that happen to me, that I miss knowing about, or important things that I’ve forgotten and thus I hurt the other people around me.
“Have you ever had someone go totally out of their way to create a special atmosphere for you, even if it’s romantic? Or, a party thrown by friends?”
The doctor listened attentively as I continued:
“well, how about how proud and happy they where to have done all that for you, and months later, it arises in a conversation, and because I didn’t know any better I had stopped them: ‘wait, what? When was that?’ ” My eyes misted and I sniffled as I explained what no one ever understands.
“yeah, I normally get my friends looking at me totally hurt because in my world… that party…that romantic dinner…it’s gone. It never happened. That’s what its like.”
She lowered her head and wrote something else down, seeing as I was upset her ambition for helping me suddenly intensified.
“I’m always so sad for them…how would it feel to be told that everything ya did was nearly for nothing because in my mind, it never happened.”
The doctor had sent me home with a chore: to keep a tab or a list of things that I forget (if I remember after-the-fact). I’d begun that day, thinking really hard on things I’d forgotten during the previous week.
-fare for the subway, it’s the same amount everyday, but I had no idea if it was $1.50, $2.25, or $2.50.
*turns out proper fare was $2.75
-I recall the time that apart from having the same routine, I couldn’t remember where my locker was, upstairs? Third floor? What hallway?
*I felt stupid and panicked. I then realized I never had a locker.
-I’ll forget the names of co-workers.
*We’ve been working and interacting with each other for two years now.
-dates are horrible, I’ll forget who I’m with on what day and that’s never good for social life.
-I’ll forget how to get to the grocery store. I’ll be able to picture what store. But not the route to get there.
*no matter how many times during the same week I’ve gone.
Anyways, the list went on. Sometimes, I’ll remember the way to the store, other times, it never comes to me and I’ll give up and go home or drive to whatever store I happen to pass. It had impacted my life of course and so I got worried about my future.
I never did well when it came to studying so I stuck to what I was good at. I choose photography as a career, because there were no textbooks, and I had natural talent, I graduated at the top of my photography classes and did post secondary in Digital photography and Imaging.
On a personal level, I became very…scared. I was living my life one day at a time and few understood. I was never angry, or I couldn’t hold a grudge because I’d have no idea what we (myself and lover or friend) would fight about. But unlike the people around me, I had no stories about my past, I don’t forget Everything, but the memories I’ve lost have, I’ve noticed, outnumbered the ones that I keep with me. I had a happy childhood I know, but I don’t have many stories of me as a kid at all.
So, now I knew. I knew that what I was going through now, the life I was living would slowly vanish and leave me alone, and wondering. I decided to start a Journal. I opened an online journal account because I’d already known how to type “properly” from business courses and I can type *almost* as quickly as I can think. I gave out the link to my closest friends, both in town and far away, so they could keep updated on things that were going on with me. I’d write and write and write. I’d write out of fear. Out of fear of forgetting it all, if I had a wonderful date, I was too worried I’d loose the precious memory, I’d enter it into my “files”. My files are stored online, and thus won’t ever crash. They’re safe, protected and locked, in a place where I can go back and re-live what happened to me on any given day, or recall trips, vacations, new friends or love.
Now, just about 5 years Later, I still write. I no longer give out the link to my journal but that’s because since my stories had created such a following I had to restrict entry. My stories? Nothing really, just things that happen that I write about, but I realized it was all about style, dialogue and method that got people hooked.
All of course because my life is no more interesting than anyone else’s, but I’d get notes of people wanting to read my stuff none-the-less.
Today, Lovers, friends, and family don’t have access to my journal. It’s still personal. it’s still only viewed by that same handful of close friends from half a decade ago. If I write about a particular person, than I e-mail them the entry since I don’t believe in talking about people without them knowing about it. I have years and years of writing, of which has grown and developed, and I’ve claimed on average 20,000-25,000 words every 4-5 weeks. I can zip these files and have them printed (I’ve hired a company…I wouldn’t print all this myself) and I’ll have the book of my life.
Although I still forget things very often, I’m not scared about it as much anymore. It has given me a gift of stories, of which I have now moved on to writing articles and fiction, and that friends and readers, is the whole damn point.