It was this hungry journey that taught me the great value of occasionally allowing ourselves to enjoy memories of days gone by. The problem is that some people devote too much time and emotional energy in recounting experiences. “Living in the past” for some, takes the place of living in the present. If we allow ourselves an occasional evening, or even a few minutes to re-enjoy our experiences, we get to practically live them a second time.
We walked by the great oak tree next to the Student Union and suddenly I was seventeen, trying to coax down a friend who, because he was denied admission to a movie deemed 18 and older (as was I), he climbed way up the tree, leaving his date (their only date I might add) down below. When we stood at the entrance of Moody Hall, I was transported to the moment in my second month in college when I stood in the same spot and realized I had really left home for this new place, 1500 miles away. I knew at that moment so many years before, there was no going back. On the south side of the Union I became so stupidly tongue tied trying to ask Denise out for the first time, I changed the subject, said goodbye and walked off. I was tempted to beat my head against the wall in frustrated dorkiness.
And although difficult memories are not the place we want to spend too much time in, if an important thing was learned by the experience, it may be worth revisiting occasionally as well. We shy away from living in the past, but amazing times should perhaps be experienced more than once.
As a final note concerning manners with memories, different recollections surrounding the same event are common. Unless it was a detail of great importance, there is no reason to correct the memory of someone else simply to be right. I have begun to enjoy great experiences more than once, but still happily live in the present, and always consider the future.