"You've gotta put your behind in the past."
I had a very neat/odd experience a couple weeks back. I was perusing the facebook pages of some friends and saw a comment from a childhood friend of mine on another friend's page. At the time, I wasn't "FB friends" with the childhood friend, but I immediately sent her a friend request. Shortly after that, another childhood friend added me as a friend. On that day, so many memories started rushing through my mind, it was like someone had just opened the floodgates as old emotions and experiences came pouring out. So many things I hadn't thought about in 20 years. I was amazed that they were even still in my brain somewhere.
I don't know how other people remember their past, but I do know that for me, most of my experiences as a child and teenager are pretty fuzzy. I tend to remember them about the same as I remember movies that I've watched--often the emotion of the situation is not really there and I don't remember a lot of specifics. I wish I remembered a lot of the experiences more vividly, but I don't. I've wondered if part of it is that when I left for college I was really ready for a new start. I'd had a pretty great life up to that point, but hadn't really felt like I had discovered who I really was. I was ready to leave a lot of the old me (at least the me that had developed during adolescence) behind and become who I was truly meant to be. I think perhaps this conscious separation from my former self might have severed some of the connection to a lot of the memories. Plus, after leaving my hometown to come to BYU, I never returned for more than a week or so at a time, so I didn't have much chance to remind myself of the past. One time I went home, probably about 6 years after I'd left and I went to my old high school just to walk around. I felt so many old emotions and feelings come over me that it was almost frightening! It was certainly unnerving to have those thoughts and feelings come up unbidden.
Well, I've strayed from my original intent, which was to somehow address the uniqueness of experience and how we really do live in isolated realities, but this is getting somewhat lengthy so perhaps I'll save those thoughts for another day. But I am curious if anyone cares to share what memories are like for them and how vivid they are. I hope that in the next life we'll easily be able to recall our favorite experiences and get to feel the thrill again of some of the best days from various times in life.