(Part 73 of 73 in My Journey)
I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.
~ Joan Didion
I have no idea who my 16-or-so-year-old self was. I recently found myself telling a long sequence of stories from that era. Who was that person? What were they thinking? …I have no idea.
And I don’t mean that looking at the facts, things don’t make sense. As in, “why would someone do that, in that situation.”
I mean: I have no recollection of what it felt like to be that person. That person—those experiences—don’t even feel real. It’s like there’s not even the least certainty that those memories aren’t just something loaded into my brain before it was booted up a few years ago.
Going back ten years—maaaybe 15 at most—I feel like that is still me. It’s like there’s a horizon and once an experience disappears over the horizon, all that’s left is a story.