I took a little trip down memory lane last night, and realised it’s riddled with holes!
My parents are re-decorating and are clearing out what they glibly refer to as ‘the spare bedroom’ – in the other words, the bedroom formerly known as mine.
As anyone who’s been through this process will know, this means less junk in my parents’ house and more in mine.
In my case it also meant facing the horrifying discovery that I was apparently more intelligent ten years ago than I am now!
Amongst the various artefacts found in the museum to the last two decades that is my former bedroom, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer mouse mat was sadly not the most embarrassing find. Neither were the collection of essays and four chapters of a novel I don’t recall writing, all store stored on floppy disk. Yes, floppy disk. I really am that old.
No, the really awkward moment came as I was skimming through the contents of some of my old university text books. I’ve never been able to bring myself to sell them or throw them away, partly convinced that they contain knowledge and information that I will one day find essential. Some of the more relevant books have made their way to my own house over the years, and all that’s left in my old bookcase are the first year books, reminders of the days when I thought I’d be studying English and History for the next four years.
And right there, in a book of poetry I recall being partly responsible for my decision not to study English any further, were my notes written in the margin, and I realised with not insubstantial horror that I had no idea what they meant. My own notes!
I had not only used words that I no longer recall the meaning of, I have no memory of ever having seen them before! Now there’s a moment that causes anyone to need a lie down!
The answer is simple. . .to paraphrase a character from Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, the memory warehouse is full. In order to make room for highly important information such as the entire back catalogue of episodes of Home and Away, I have apparently discarded half of what I learned at university.
Alright, so it’s perhaps not as drastic as that. If anything it’s just a little depressing – it makes me wonder what other memories might have been left behind. And then there’s the dream I had last night – it was the end of summer break and I was supposed to be back at university, but I’d missed the first two months of classes.
I don’t think I need degree to figure that one out!