Bundled up in my oversized coat, I take the early morning train to the lakefront. Hit by the overwhelming slap of -23 weather, I aim to seek refuge from the cold. With every hot breath that catches my scarf, icicles begin to form where I breathe. Spotting a 24-hour Diner, I quickly cross the road and enter the grill. My spectacles fog over the moment I step inside, with a heater blasting and now blurry lenses, I lift my glasses to my forehead and look around. Empty. Walking towards a table, I remove my Olsen inspired outwear and sit down. A server with long black hair approaches with a steaming pot of coffee. Bless her heart. Being 05:00 on a Monday morning, it seems as if no one by the lake is up for some Diner food.
Taking a sip from my coffee, I glance around at my surroundings, it seems as if the Canadian winters are finally here. My food comes quickly. This was just what I was needing, a warm meal to fight the extreme weather warning that was issued over the city. Looking out the window, I note the sun which appears to be resting upon the horizon. The glow of the sun dissipates over the frozen waters illuminating the blackened landscape. With time to kill, I pull out my current read Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris. An elderly man enters the diner. “The usual?” The server says to the man. With a swift nod, he grabs a daily paper, sits down and begins to read. People have “usuals” here, I didn’t think that happened anywhere other than in movies and at Starbucks. I continue sipping my coffee.
Memory lapse: We remember what we want and we forget the rest. We piece together a story…a plot so directed that we begin to live our lives as nothing more than actors on a stage. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players”. Is this true? Did Shakespeare know of the falsified reality we would be living? How do we know when memories end and reality truly begins, for there are things that you cannot forget even though you wish that you could.
Last night, I attended the Kit and Ace Supper Club at their Queen Street West location. The event is a small gathering of 10 Toronto creatives where networking and creating conversation is encouraged. The wonderful part about these events, is that in under 3 hours, these 10 strangers may have just become new friends and colleagues. When working on this post, I was faced with a bit of writers block. I resorted to searching ancient philosophies and psychological theories, but no one seemed to be able to answer my question. Intrigued with what response I would receive, I asked the attendees a question: “Is there something in your life that can never be forgotten no matter how hard you have tried?” The silence was felt around the table.
Through mumbled voices, stories began to be told, and memories of the past filled the table.
While all the attendees had such an interesting take on the question, one comment in particular stood out to me. Kyle MacNevin, Co-Founder of Wear Your Label, began speaking of forgiveness. He spoke about how we need to forgive those who have hurt us, for without them we would not be where we are today. After Kyle finished speaking I began thinking, for I thought of all the prolonged grudges I have held, and the deep sadnesses I have felt when overcoming rejection, heartbreak, and sadness. At the point I am at in my life, I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. If this was said to me months prior, I would have laughed and walked away. Having grown from past situations, I can understand how forgiveness has not only made in impact within relationships, but within my own wellbeing.
Memories are often painted by imagination, for sometimes we blank on the story and begin to fill in the voids with our own creative means. Decorating the story to appeal to a broader audience, we edit our experiences and cater them to fit the mould. I personally take large creative liberties with past memories. I seem to break down all memories and attempt to solve the problems of the past through over-analysis and continual mental breakdowns.
“Maybe they were going through a difficult time, and took it out on me because I was the closest to them, or maybe they needed to understand themselves better…Maybe they needed to take a meditation class in order to become closer to their aura! or maybe the acted so maliciously, that they began to hurt others to feel better about themselves! I cannot believe that they metaphorically did that!”.
I have a terrible habit of getting myself upset over situations that have not yet occurred. When faced with a situation similar to one from the past, I begin to assume that the outcome will be the same. I do not take into account that the new situation features different people, different scenarios, and even different relationships, for I still generalize it all under the same ‘failure’ umbrella as the past. I feel as if we are lying to ourselves when we say that we are 100% okay with every single decision we have ever made, for there are always circumstances that come back to haunt us…circumstances that remind us of mistakes we made. I think that the problem is not the memory itself, nor is it the action, but it is the inability to move on from the negativity we have experienced.
Sometimes we want something so badly, so greatly that we feel it in our gut. We want that thing so much that we begin to believe it to be true…So true that the lie becomes the reality and reality becomes nothing more than a figment of our own imaginations. A life void of imagination is dull and unliveable, but when imagination trumps reality then we are just living in a void of solitude, for wistful feelings are comprised of nothing but preamble lies designed to make things look better than they seemed.