“Memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved by the brain”– According to the definition of the word. But, here’s the thing: I like to think of memory as so much more than the meaning of this poor, scientific term.

Memory is probably both the greatest blessing and worst curse people are born with. It is random, uncontrollable, and, if nothing else, completely precious. Yet we tend to underestimate its worth and often view it as nothing more than a dark necessity. And whether you like it or not, our whole lives revolve around it. Because let’s face it: We either fall in love with reminiscence or grow completely repulsed by it.

Remembering can be alluring. You recall beautiful moments you shared with beautiful people or times that utterly took your breath away. Try to think of memory as a picture. An instantly captured image of the moment you’re experiencing. And my absolute favorite thing about it is that it never changes, even if the people in it do.

Yet, we have beautiful memories that we long to forget. I think that the main reason is that, even if that certain moment itself might seem flawless, what went on afterward turned out to be a major disappointment. And maybe these moments you once loved to think about -the ones you became adorably happy when reminiscing about- eventually were replaced by pain, loss, and grief. And there are times that someone has been engraved in your memory so deeply that you almost can’t remember anything without them.

It is well known that, in the end, inevitably, everything becomes a memory. That perfect split-second can’t last forever, and eventually, your brain’s collection of breath-taking moments will have to expand.

I mean, I get it, not wanting to forget. And that’s fully okay. Your memories are a part of who you are. What’s not okay though, is holding onto people who left, only leaving the moments you shared behind and letting it get to you so much that it makes them forever present, one way or another.

The emotional pain is, if nothing else, normal.

It’s pretty damn hard to accept that someone you used to make all of your memories with, eventually becomes one. I’m not saying that everyone will walk away in the end. But when they do leave, the only thing you can do is hold these images you shared together and cherish them as much as you can.

And I promise, there will be so many new memories for you to make. You will experience truly amazing human beings, get to know the world, and gather so many things to reminisce about. Maybe certain things will evoke you to remember the past, but after all, that’s another part of who you are.

So go out there and make as many memories as possible and make sure you have exceptional people to accompany them as well. Don’t be afraid to get hurt and live fiercely in the moment, finally able to let go of the ghosts of your past and carry on.

Author: Ioanna Vargianiti

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