memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

If I can say one good thing about my commute to work is that it allows me a version of ‘me’ time.  Some days I’m able to read, other days I listen to music, and if I’m feeling like a multi-tasker then I’ll do both.  But there are also days when I do neither and stare out the window of the train/bus and daydream- thinking about the past and dreaming about the future.

Yesterday was one of those days as I took the Metra to-and-from Naperville for a day in the suburbs with my supervisor, and then withstood an hour bus ride through the torrential downpour to my volunteer meeting at Children’s Memorial.  There’s something about rainy days that put me in a philosophical, thought-provoking, reminiscent mood.  Anyone else agree? Additionally, as the always clever and wise Adriana said the other day- You know, I honestly don’t mind rainy days. They just require more caffeine than the sunny ones.  And since this was on FB, I definitely “Like”(d) it…to no one’s surprise I’m sure.  Seriously, she’s a genius and the only thing better than coffee and Adriana is coffee with Adriana.  (Re: I don’t know how I found this image either, but how cute/ appropriate is that.)

Now you can call it an ephiphany or just a thought in my always-thinking mind, but here’s what I came up with:  We do not thank nor show our appreciation (enough) to those people in the past that have caused us pain, heartbreak, aggrevation…all of the things we deem as negative.

Now first think about what I just said for a second…before assuming that I’m crazy, drunk or high.  I’m neither as far as I know, but a little rundown and tired still, yes. 

Okay, have you thought about this enough? 

Let me explain where I’m coming from because I know you’re so curious about my life-changing perspective here.  Now if you’re reading this and you’ve never been hurt in any way-shape-or-form, then I kind of feel sorry for you.  And I’m not just talking about being hurt through a crush, relationship, love, etc.  I mean if anyone, at any time in your life has ever hurt you, caused you pain (emotional, mental, psychological).  You all should be with me now.  (Damn those high school years of gossip, pettiness, and bullying.)

Yesterday, as I stared our the window onto the streets of Chicagoland, I thought about some of the things that had led me to that very moment, going as far back as to my lovely days of growing up in Pittsburgh…to those beloved college memories at OU… embracing my  fun-filled year in Columbus…and my decision to take a huge risk in moving to Chi-town.  Through each of these experiences I have been accompanied my dear friends Challenge and Pain.  Being the dreamer and seeker that I am, I’ve learned to call Challenge and Pain my friends because they, in a way, play a supportive role in my life.  They’ve led me to where I am today, and will be there tomorrow.  They’re two of the friends that I’ve learned to count on, but it took awhile for me to no longer see them as the enemy.  The things we learn as we get older (and wiser).

Even if you’ve only read a few posts of mine, I’m sure you’ve read about a certain boy (Casey) by now; however, I tend to be pretty vague in sharing the full details of the K-C story.  But what I do choose to share with you is the impact that he has on my life- past, present, and future.  Unfortunately he’s not in my life right now, but then again he is.  He always will be, and I say this for many reasons.  For one, he was my first love and as of right now, my only love.  And you know what they say about first love…impossible to forget.  However I can now say that it’s so much more than that.  Without even being aware of it, this boy, my first love, has not only helped mold me into the person I am today, but he is also helping me become the best version of myself that I can possibly be.  That’s what love does- and not just romantic love.  Love makes you want to be a better you. 

Now it’s no secret to my friends, family, and loyal blog readers that I’m the most advanced when it comes to crushes, dating, love, and anything else in this field of play that I’m obviously no pro on.   Call me heartless, if you must, or picky.  I honestly don’t know what my deal is.  I love love love boys.  I really do.  But for some reason I have a hard time finding ones that really appeal to me.  I know, I set the bar too high.   Or maybe I just know what I want, whether or not he truly exists.   The funny thing is, I found it once so it’s hard for me to believe that I cannot find it again. 

My whole epiphany was over this concept: We never forget the people that we love(d), and why should we?  Even if they’re no longer physically in our life, they are a part of us.  We are the product of our experiences- the good and the bad; the beautiful and the painful; the ones we hope to remember forever and those that we wish we could forget. 

As I’ve learned there are just so moments that you cannot forget no matter how much you try.  There are people that will remain on your mind forever, even if you don’t see them for years.  Again, I have to point out that this isn’t just romantic love.  For example, some of us will never forget our childhood best friend, favorite high school teacher or a grandparent that passed away.  Even if they aren’t physically with us, they are a companion of ours on the journey.  We remember the advice they gave us, the memories we shared, and most importantly, how they make us feel.

So at the beginning of this ramble post I mentioned that it’s important to show your appreciation people from your past that you may have never Maybe it’s those mean girls from junior high, the jocks that bullied you in high school, or a former teacher or coach that always found a way to put you down.  To them, say thank you.  For it is because of them that you are stronger and wiser, not to mention better than them, today.  And to the one that broke your heart into a thousand pieces, maybe even pounding on it a few times afterwards to make sure that it took a good while in recover, say thank you.  While your heart may still hurt, you can appreciate them for allowing you to experience the phenomenon that is love.  And I promise you, you will love again.

________________________________________________________________________________

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

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7 thoughts on “memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

  1. chuck klosterman wrote an essay about first love once that really resonated with me. it’s in the last chapter of his book “killing yourself to live.” i think you’d dig it, based on reading this post.

    i know exactly what you mean about first love. my first love still colors just about every guy interaction i have, and that was fifteen (!!!) years ago. sigh…

  2. you’re so good to me. thanks for the suggestion. i’ve been meaning to read his work and will definitely look into that. thank you!!

    fifteen years ago! wow. but i can guarantee that will be me too. it’s amazing the power that love can have.

  3. This is such a beautiful post.

    It’s true – you never forget those that have hurt you, or loved you. I believe everything happens for a reason — people come into our lives (even if only temporary) to show us how to live, learn and love; to break down our walls and allow us to become the person we are supposed to be.

    We owe those people so many thanks because it’s those painful times that often shape our lives. And those people who hurt us who we are more thankful for each and every day.

    xoxo

    1. Kate, first I owe you an email! Soon, I promise. I’m glad you enjoyed my post and agree with my position on this. Trust me, I didn’t always see it this way but I’m so glad I do now. I just thought of this line from The Notebook, that I quoted a few days ago-

      …I’m not bitter anymore, because I know that what we had was real. And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I’ll smile at you with joy and remember…

      Remember this, like I do, and it will remind you to embrace everything and everyone that once meant something to you. As you said, we live, we love, we learn.

  4. You are so very very right… I thought about this the other day as well, that if I could extend a thank you to those who put me through a rough time that would certainly be an interesting ordeal. But you bring up a good point, I am thankful for these people. They have helped me in more ways than they will ever come to find out.

    Best,

    Hannah Katy

    1. Hi Hannah! It’s funny because I just heard such good things on 20sb and want to check it out.. I just subscribed so I look forward to reading your posts.

      With regards to this topic, we obviously cannot see it this way during the pain, etc. but when you look back you see it so differently. That’s the beauty of life. We struggle, we hurt, we cry…but these are things that we really do need to go through. Like I said, I pity people that don’t experience these things because they help us grow in more ways then we could even imagine. It’s these blessings in disguise that really mold us.

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