I’ve got a rubbish memory. Oh, I’m not an amnesiac or anything. But recalling events and placing them accurately in my timeline is a challenge. I’m okay with nailing down things in the last few days, maybe the last couple of weeks. But the past is…well, it’s the past. Last couple of weeks, recently, a few weeks/months/years ago, when I was little, when I was at college, when I lived in,before we were married…that’s as accurate as it gets.
I am totally in awe of people like my Granddad. He could drill down into his past to the hour and day, never mind the month or year. ‘Ah yes, when I was in Africa in ’43, it was around 10 o’clock March the 16th if I remember rightly…,’
How did he do that? And who was going to contradict him if he hadn’t remember rightly?
My Uncle Harry had a photographic memory. My husband can remember conversations we had 15 years ago almost word for word.
Every one of my friends can remember things I can’t. It’s embarrassing.
I’ve been told it’s laziness. Not paying enough attention to things. That I live ‘too much in the now.’ That one always perplexes me. How can anyone live ‘too much in the now?’ That’s where life’s happens ALL THE TIME!
And here comes the kicker…when I’m forced to look back and try to focus in on when something happened it’s like trying to gift wrap blancmange.
Here’s an example.
Question – ‘How old are you in your earliest memories?’
What happens next….slight feelings of panic accompanied by a complete lack of any memories at all. Time passes. Eventually a mental image coagulates of a small girl in a green coat on a slide. Oh, there’s another one of a girl in a bath. Are these my earliest memories? How old am I? More panic. I don’t know. Four? Five? Is it even me? Pah, the past, it’s not for me.
But something brilliant happened a couple of weeks ago.
I was asked the question ‘what did you want to be when you grew up?’
And I immediately knew the answer! Yes, yes I could remember that!
I wanted to be Dr Who. Really, really wanted to be Dr Who.
I remember playing Dr Who games pretty much every playtime, I must have been about 6 or 7 years old, possibly older. The TARDIS was always at the back of the playground, invisible in the corner.
I was always the Doctor, bossing my friends around on all kinds of adventures. Woe betide the assistant who lagged behind. Being in space involved a lot of running around and shouting and the stories went on for days. Limitless stories played in my head. My future was full of adventure. I lived for playtime, after school, before bedtime, writing down my ideas and drawing daleks and monsters ad infinitum.
I remembered the joy, the feelings of excitement, the buzz of possibility.
And I remember what it felt like to really dream, with no limits (Go me! This actually was the whole point of the question. More on that another time) My imagination was…is unbounded. Amazing! It felt great. It feels great. And you know what… I still want to be Dr Who!
There’s a short poem here I wrote being Dr Who. Hope it makes you smile.
Who (or what) did you want to be when you were little? Did you get to be them?