Remembering

R.B. Winters
R.B. Winters
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This is actually not a regular blog post. I wrote this for something else, but thought it was worth sharing here.


I’ve had a poor memory for as long as I can remember. What I have is a head full of scattered pictures that often seem part of a distant and unrelated life.
                  Looking into the past is easy for some, they tell about their earliest birthday or special family moments. The first thing I can recall is being under water. It’s a split second memory: I have my face in the ocean and there are white seashells trapped in the sand. That is all I can recall on my own, but family has filled in the blanks. This was a family getaway to California and we had stopped off at the beach for a day of sun and play. None of that means anything to me, like I said; family members have had to fill me in on the events.
                   The next thing locked away in the back of my mind comes nine years later. When I was about 12 my father announced that his eventual wife was moving in with us. That day is painted across my memory in such vivid colors that even time is unable to wash it away. This was the first time I had ever met, or heard, of this woman that was moving into my life. I would discover a decade later that my father had dated her while I spent weekends at my mother’s house. At once a party was put together in order for my father’s friends to meet my soon-to-be stepmother. The reactions were positive for the most part, except for mine. Suddenly I was being lumped into a category of spoiled children. This would later unfold as personal independence that would rub my father’s wife the wrong way.
                  The next seven years are scattered with memories that I have put a great deal of time and energy into repressing. Some people say that it is unhealthy to skip over things that have left a mark on you, I strongly disagree with them. Having already lived through certain experiences, it is obvious that I have made it to the other side of the tunnel. It seems self indulgent to turn back and trek through things again; doing so can only make a person more bitter and cynical than they already are. I should mention the seventh year is when my father and his second wife divorced.
                  Next comes graduation. I finished high school as a junior because I had a decent job and the prospect of being on my own was the only thing that interested me. Living with a parent, even one that was far from strict, didn’t appeal. There were plans in the back of my head and they weren’t being accomplished sitting in a small town where being anything other than status quo was acceptable. I moved out the day after graduation at the age of seventeen and didn’t look back. This is not to say that I’m not close with my parents. They have no choice but to accept that I am determined to do what I want at all costs.
                  After high school I continued to work and move up the management ladder in my job. I moved around, constantly feeling restless and out of sorts with myself. The memories here become so faded that I’m not sure which are real and which are after thoughts that my mind has crafted. There’s not much detail to be recalled but the facts are there. I finished my Associate’s degree in English and moved onto my Bachelor’s. I moved several more times, finally settling in Brooklyn and mentally calming down a bit. Out of all the things I’ve forgotten, a conversation with my mother is burned into my mind. She once mentioned understanding the feelings of restlessness that I’ve often talked about. She was plagued by the same problem, which explains many life lessons she had to learn the hard way. It made me feel better until I asked when she felt things had begun to calm down. She’s forty-eight and they haven’t.
                  The last two years of my life are what I can recount in the most intricate of details. I know where I’ve gone, who was around, and exactly what I was thinking. However, none of that is due to an improved performance in memory, but the assistance of a blog. Nothing of great interest or profound change has happened in the short time I’ve been using the online forget-me-not, but it has been helpful to have the ability to read things that have happened and know that’s actually what happened.