In general, I am not a forgetful person. I remember important dates, items on my grocery list, and words both tender and toxic. It’s a rare occurrence for me to miss an appointment due to negligence. I can hear a song one time, and be able to sing back the chorus word-for-word. I don’t need a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. No, when it comes to the important things, I do not easily forget.
Which makes it very odd that I left my keys IN MY FRONT DOORKNOB overnight. I slept soundly, thinking that I was safely locked inside my apartment, when I truly could have been murdered, had my house ransacked, and my car stolen. I suppose they would have been justified, though, because have you seen my hot ride?
Nightmarish scenarios aside, there’s another realm in which I can be forgetful. When it comes to the past, I tend to be a revisionist. I look back at certain times in my life with great nostalgia, under the illusion that everything was perfect when it wasn’t. I forget the hard times – I forget the reality. I convince myself that my life in Seattle was flawless, when in all actuality, I know that I struggled with the same things that I struggle with now: insecurity, loneliness, lack of purpose, lack of discipline. Instead, I remember the friendships. I remember feeling needed. I remember feeling seen. I remember the cozy weather. I remember medical insurance. I remember the water and the mountains and the drive-up coffee stands. And as shallow as it is, I remember my hair being long.
Ah, yes, times were good.
It’s easy to forget the bad, in the same way that it’s easy to forget that your ex-boyfriend wore sweatpants with elastic around the ankles.
I want to remember my past for what it was – being both grateful for the gifts, and mindful of the pain. But more than that, I want to accept the present – with everything that it brings, good and bad, ugly and awesome. I want to be here now. I want to live.
Which will probably require never forgetting my keys in the door again.