This morning I decided to start my day by reading one of my old blog posts. It led me to recover one of the most important things that I’ve learned.
And that I had forgotten.
Remember Leonard Shelby, the guy in the movie Memento?). Leonard can’t make new long term memories. Short term memories fade after about fifteen minutes, so Leonard remembers important things by taking Polaroids and writing notes on the back.
He remembers the most important things by getting them tattoed on his chest.
I’ve got what seems to be a good memory. Still, I’m always astonished to discover what I’ve forgotten——including things that I’ve flagged as important, important, do no forget!! Like this post, titled Memento because it’s all about me having the same problem as poor Leonard.
I sort of remembered I’d written a post about Memento.
And I sort of remembered that it was about trying to remember.
But holy shit! I’d forgotten all the important parts.
In that post, I recorded the fact that I had forgotten what I described as “the best thing that I’d ever written.” I’d written it thirteen days earlier. And I’ve forgotten it!
In my Memento post, I said:
I had forgotten what I had decided was my reason for existence.
I had forgotten what I had identified as one of the most important things I had learned.
So I went and read that blog post.
And the Memento post was right. It was one of the best things I’d ever written.
And I had forgotten it.
It was an essential and valuable piece of hard-won knowledge, and I had fucking forgotten it.
By the time I finished reading it, I was crying.
The post I had forgotten was about sacrifice.
It was about taking cold showers as a symbolic act. Those showers are uncomfortable, but they wake me up. And that’s how I want to spend my days: awake, not in a dream.
In a sense that made sense, the self that steps into the shower dies, and a new self is born and steps out.
It’s a daily voluntary sacrifice for a greater good.
Thank you, December 18. 2018 Pre-Shower Past Me.
You knowingly sacrificed yourself so that Post-Shower Past Me might live.
And eventually, so that I might arrive.
Thank you to all the other Past Me’s who died so that Present Me might live.
Thank you, December 29, 2018 Past Me, who said:
I had been living my life as though that realization—the realization that the purpose of my life—to make a better Future Me—had never happened. Instead, I made shittier Future Me’s. Until today.
Thank you for articulating a simple purpose for my life: to make a Better Future Me (BFM.)
A Past Me stopped writing a draft of this post, went to the shower, turned on the water, cold, and for the first time in months, stepped in.
I woke up.
And here I am.
How am I going to remember BFM?
Memento had the answer. And I had the answer, too. Only I forgot it.
June 30, 2017, from my Hangouts Channel with Elsa: I had the answer.
It worked for a while.
So here’s today’s reminder:
Now, where can I get a real tattoo? Or a better fake?
And what do I want it to say?