Throughout my life I have had a problem with remembering any event that transpired more than a few months before. This was helpful in giving me a better suited short-term memory; however, those memories that I wish to hold onto forever often escape my mind. Because I have been plagued with this over such a long time, I have come up with a few measures to counteract it, and this has developed into a belief. This I believe, in the recalling power of writing. To be more precise, I have found that by keeping messages and notes I’ve received from friends, I can read them and recollect those past events.
I keep almost everything that I write, or that has been written to me, and when I say everything, I mean everything. I have kept almost every text message, e-mail from friends, and any other messages I receive on social networking sites. I have even kept all of the notes I received since middle school till even now in a box. I’m almost like a pack rat when it comes to it, but it’s all for the sake of “remembering the good times” when I’m feeling down, or just to have a good laugh. Even though every memory isn’t necessarily full of humorous events or even a particularly good memory, it’s always enjoyable to look at that piece of paper and remember. I do it so that I won’t ever truly forget those people, or that time in my life. Whenever I look at that box, open it, and start reading through those old torn-out pieces of notebook paper, the memories just start flooding back.
One of the papers I have is from a very close friend of mine in high school. On it is written “Hey man, I just finished a modular star but it’ll get broken at my house, do you want it?” The modular star he refers to is one made completely out of paper, and it’s a three-dimensional eight-pointed star. It brings back the memories and him and I starting an Origami Club at our high school, and how we brought together new and old friends to fold beautiful paper design, and to just generally hang out together during club activities. Thanks to me keeping that scrap of paper, and being able to read that line of words, I’ll never fully forget that part of my life.
I not only keep the physical notes and papers, I keep electronic notes too. By this I mean that any e-mail from a friend that isn’t just one of those “forward of a forward” messages, I keep in a folder on my web-space. These messages range from a general, “Hey, what’s up?” sort of e-mail, to more personal ones. With these, I will often just open a random message, read it, and reflect on the memory of that person. It’s a very enjoyable feeling, really, to be able to remember certain times and people, after not having been able to do so on demand.
After some time, I tried a new form of storing those memories that were precious to me, without having to rely on someone else having written me a note or sent me a message. I began writing a journal, of sorts, whenever I could remember to add an entry. With this, I was able to capture the memory from my own personal view, and being able to cherish it more clearly once I reread it at a later date. I kept this up for almost six months during one of the best times of my life, and that journal is one of my most prized possessions. This event was one involving my first love, as silly as that may sound, but it was at this time in my life that I was the happiest I’d ever been before. After this time had passed my desire to write in that journal was dimming, and thus I didn’t write in it as much. I eventually neglected to continue writing in it at all, and have not started it back up again since. Every once in awhile, however, I do write down my thoughts, not in a compilation like a diary or a journal, but just on a page in my notebook, or even in an essay, so that later in life I can reflect on the thoughts of that moment.
There have been many examples throughout history of individuals doing just what I do, albeit for different reasons. Whenever anyone writes in a journal or diary of their daily event, they are reflecting on what has transpired. Whenever a book is written, whether non-fiction or fiction, it’s still capturing that person’s memories, even if it’s just a memory of their ideas, within the pages of that novel, short story, or poetic composition. This power that words have to contain so much information in just simple text amazes me every time I think about it.
From the words in diaries and other literature, to the words in newspapers and text books, there is a great power to store a wealth of knowledge and memories of the author, and that is the power I believe in. I hope to continue being able to keep the notes and messages that I have now, and to acquire more of them in my future, so that I can continue reliving my memories through the words of myself and others, and stop forgetting those events that happen in life that were, and will be, most precious to me.