He asked me a question and for the life of me, I just couldn’t remember the answer. We literally spoke about whatever it was a half hour ago and I expected to hear him suck his teeth, a norm when he found himself exasperated with my absentmindedness. But instead he sighed and wrapped his arm around my shoulders in a way to suggest he was painfully clinging on to something he didn’t want to slip. “Babe, the memory loss is getting bad.”
There’s a little secret I’ve been carrying in my pocket that I want to share: I’m starting to forget everything.
I knew something was wrong when I would sit down with girlfriends and we’d discuss our children – their milestones and big accomplishments – and I couldn’t recall what I felt was so special about the year Kae turned two or what Kam had done just the week before that caused me to write down some cryptic statement in my journal for a future blog post. I couldn’t remember what I did for a birthday or what happened in one of the personal photos around the house. I could sense the judgement although quiet in nature – how could you forget?
And I echoed those same sentiments this weekend, nearly breaking down in front of a group of people when I couldn’t even respond to a simple question. How could I forget these things that’s a part of me, that came from me, that made me?
“This may be what you have your camera and your blog for,” he told me, a hopeful voice holding on to a prayer that maybe things will be okay. “To remember.”
I’ve written a lot about why I write, but it never occurred to me that one day, the root behind Everything EnJ would be because my memory is slowly slipping away and this blog is just a tool in God’s will to help me remember what used to be. Just the other day, I couldn’t remember my age and shamefully turned to my blog to check out my last birthday post. 28. I wouldn’t dare ask Rob or the kids, who would tell me in record speeds before I could confirm, myself. We’ve gone from laughing about the matter a year ago, blaming the busyness of life, to feeling disappointed in dismissing a conversation and opting for silence instead. It’s been a whole lot of “yo, remember when…” and “…forget it, babe” around the house.
“Everything EnJ is for when everything is gone.” It’s one thing to think something, but it’s another to vocalize your thoughts and consider how much truth could lie in the possibility. I scoffed proclaiming it and let out quiet cries; low enough for everyone on that bus to continue on with their conversations without staring at me and yet, loud enough for Rob to rest my head on his shoulder without ever glancing over and saying a word.
Looking out that window, I thought of everything that happened to me that I prayed would go away, that I wished I could forget and it’s as if the Universe granted me my wish, allowing me to publicize it all for records-sake and future reference first. Be mindful of the words you send up to God.
I came across a TED Talk on Saturday titled, “Should you live for your résumé or your eulogy,” and it couldn’t have been more timely with my feelings on my current state and where I am now with my work. If you’ve been following from day one or been down with me for a short time, you know that I’ve worked hard to get this blog to a place where people can come share their stories, but more so, a space where I feel comfortable enough telling my own. Tons of awesome experiences and opportunities were birthed because of Everything EnJ, but in this ordeal with my memory, I’m starting to believe its best if I rest for a while and go back to living. If there’s one thing I know about being a good writer, it’s you have to live some life and if I were to fade away today, I’d be remembered for all the stories I shared, but how would I remember myself? What would I say about me; what will my children; my partner for the last 3,842 days?
I just want to be – outside of the MacBook, occasionally away from social media, and beyond the blog. This space is, as Rob said, a place for me to remember and reflect, but for now, I just want to disappear with the distant memories and live for a little bit. Honor and cherish moments while I have ’em.
I’ve forgotten how to do that…