on the couch
on the couch
It's Wednesday already and I've almost made it halfway through this week. So why do I feel like it's still Monday. It's one of the side effects of lack of sleep - every day feels like the same day. Without those hours of unbroken sleep to separate the nights from the days, your mind starts to feel like it's just living one day that won't end.
I laid awake for a long time last night thinking about my childhood. The birthday party comments yesterday brought back a lot of unpleasant memories, especially Lee's comment. I spent my whole life telling myself and anyone else who was listening that it never mattered to me that I had no friends. So how come I'm sitting here, at almost 40 years old, still obsessing about it? It's not just that. I wonder about all the hurtful memories I harbor and why I keep them there. The story about my 13th birthday that I wrote about, I didn't even remember that until something triggered it several years ago. I asked a couple of my cousins about it just to make sure it wasn't some dreamed up memory on my part, but they all remembered it.
Why do we keep incidents like that stored in our brain? And what makes us want to talk about them? I have so many good memories. Despite the friends issue, my childhood was a good one. We had a very loving, pleasant home life. So why, when my family is all together, do we talk about the time my sister and I had a fist fight on the front lawn, or any other moment that will dredge up bad memories? Why, when I talk about school, do I only talk about that feeling of isolation, that weird, sickening feeling I always had in my stomach when I would see other girls whispering and giggling?
I wonder what my own kids will remember. Years from now, will Natalie talk about the birthday that she got a trip to Disney, or will she talk about the year it snowed so bad that we had to cancel her party? Will she only discuss the horrible experience of third grade when the whole world seemed to turn against her, or will she talk about this time, now, when her life is full of friends and activities and she is comfortable in her own skin for the first time? Will DJ someday tell people about making the All-Star team in baseball or meeting Dave Winfield, or will he just remember that he was sick for a long time, or his cousin knocked him off the trampoline when he was eight?
I can probably recount every slight against me, every insult hurled at me, every time someone knocked me down. I can tell you on what date my sister broke my Bay City Rollers record on purpose and give you the specific details of the day I got hit with a firecracker. I don't know why I dwell on the past so much when my present is so good. This is probably the best time in my life; certainly my happiest. And I know I'm not the only one. I think everyone does it to an extent. Are stories about bad moments just more interesting? Or is it because the bad things shape us so much more than the good things, so that's why they stick with us so vividly?
This is what happens when I don't sleep. My brain goes into overdrive. I also tend to get "fiesty" as my boss says. Hopefully I'll put the thinking cap to good use today and work on some of those projects instead of sitting around all day philosophizing. Nobody likes a fiesty philosopher.