As I thumb through the endless pages of memories, I can't help but consider their origin. Which ones are truly mine, which ones are based on photos and stories, and which ones are a product of others' recollections.
There are those memories that some would say I shouldn't have. Memories of events that I should have been too young to remember. And memories that some say I should have, and no matter how I try, they just aren't there.
Then I consider how many of my memories are tainted or warped by emotion, youth, and lack of understanding. Memories that you relate to those that were a part of it, and they look at you as though you are from another planet, because it is nothing like what they remember. Memories that bring a feeling of warmth, and a smile to your face. Memories that bring pain and hurt, so real that it is almost like you are living through the experience all over again. Memories you pray you will never forget, and memories you pray that one day you can forget.
Sifting through the vast records, you begin to catch a glimpse of why you are who you are today, realizing that memories have become building blocks of life. Strange and obscure memories that layed the foundation for how you perceive situations and experiences that you encounter in life. A simple memory that began the creation of an opinion you still carry about a certain person or place. Memories that draw you to certain people or places, and memories that send you fleeing from certain people or places. Memories that surface from the subconscious that cause you to react to circumstances in ways that leave you baffled.
Researching our memories can be a journey of bliss and one of torment. It can be a world of fascination and endless discovery, and a world of confusion, an abyss we could become lost in.
Driven by a need to understand and analyze, I am compelled to take that journey often. With each memory recalled and uncovered, whether good or bad, I ask the when, what, where, why, and how. Regardless of the emotion birthed from the memory, either joy or pain, I continue the quest for understanding, knowing that it will bring closure, wisdom, forgiveness, peace, maturity, growth, and wholeness, as I continue the journey. And, because of this journey, a footnote will be added to each memory, and when they are recalled again, I will see each building block clearly, and marvel at the remodeling that has taken place, and smile.