opinion piece

[OPINION] Embrace your memories

Close your eyes

Empty your mind

As you sink into the darkness, let the sound of your own breathing calm your jittery nerves

When you are ready, search through your memory box

And reignite the first memory that you can think of

Now tell me: What is the memory all about?

For me, the memory I had in mind was of me driving along I-95, a few years back. It was near sunset – the sky was majestic with splashes of orange, purple, blue and pink. I was driving 100/mph in my blood red Camaro, the radio blasting my favourite playlist. The road was astonishingly deserted, and I cruised seamlessly without any worry. I witnessed the sun vanished among the puff of clouds, and then saw the moon slowly emerging with a startling glow. I was going fast, yet at that particular moment, everything seemed to have been moving in slow motion. So much so I could have swore I saw air particles. I can remember the details vividly – the warmness of my breath, the moonlight creeping on my car’s dashboard, the teardrops cascading my cheeks…

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Memories are funny little things. They appear and go missing once in a while, up to its liking. Sometimes, it’s there without warning, tugging your heart strings, and vanish when you needed it the most.

I myself find it comforting and consoling to replay memories. I would just sit in one corner in my room alone, engulf myself in total darkness, and start reminiscing. The memories I play varies; it’s a good mixture of joy, grievance and neutral feelings. I don’t pick what I want to be reminded of, but rather, I let my own mind choose the memories it wants me to remember.

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You’ll be surprised of the memories that might spring into your mind – those long forgotten memories that you once tried so hard to forget because it brings you pain, or those memories you subconsciously had forgotten because you were too focused being in the moment.

People perceive memories as something that is mundane, and never gave it much of a thought.Β To me, your memories make up who you are. Especially the bad ones, the sad ones, the painful ones. You may have chosen to bury these kind of memories deep into your soul, kept it locked and hidden because it once pained you. In that moment when it happened, yes, it did. It was hurtful. It nearly killed you. It almost made you dissipate into nothingness.

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Why I like to revisit some of these painful memories, is because I want to remind myself that I managed to move on. I was strong enough to fight those feelings, in that moment, to set myself free. They are nothing but memories that can no longer haunt me. These memories are proof that I survived whatever it is that had caused myself misery. It reminded me that I am a strong person, and if I had managed to overcome all these painful memories, I would most definitely be able to grow stronger to face the surprises Life has kept in stores for me to discover.

And you never need a reason to not be reminded of your happy memories. It makes you laugh and cry – all at once. You get to the point where you keep asking yourself; “What the hell was I thinking?!”. All those stupid things you did with your friends that nearly got you into trouble, the adrenaline of driving fast without supervision, the excitement of trying new clothes that caused you to starve for a few days, the intimacy that you share with your loved ones over discounted dinner, the stream of words that pour out of your heart through a phone call after a very long and taxing day… and the list goes on. Didn’t reminiscing those memories made you smile? Well, it did to me.

Never discard your memories – they were there for a reason.

Never look back to regret, but always look back to reflect.

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Circa ’13

And sometimes, it might just tickle your heart to be reminded of the reason behind that smile of yours.

So embrace your memories, because they are a part of you.

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