I really must start writing. I feel as rusty as Salad Fingers’ kitchenware but I will plough through this exercise nonetheless. That is what it will be for the first few blogs I’m afraid: an exercise. I haven’t written seriously since graduating from the University of Sussex in early ‘13… Wow I cannot believe I have done so little with my life since then.
Maybe I am being too hard on myself. After all, I have held down a job for a sustained period of time which is uncharted territory. I work at a pre-school and have done since October ’13.
At this point I find myself pondering the point of this ‘exercise’. I am struggling to pinpoint who my audience is. Do bloggers write for an audience or for themselves? I just don’t know. What if my friends read this and think it is stupid and then hate me and then I have no friends and die? What if no one knows who Salad Fingers is? That was a stupid reference anyway. I just wanted to reference something cos italics are clever.
Perhaps I need a theme. The mundane nature of my life since university has got me trying to think of what may be interesting and meaningful as a means of discussion. If my most recent memory draws the least inspiring ideas, maybe my most distant memories, my first memories can tease out something worth talking about.
I was once told that a memory is… wait for it… just a memory of the last time you remembered it and not the moment itself: this is why memories fade. I have no idea who told me that so I suppose it has absolutely no merit whatsoever. Believe it if you want, who cares? You won’t remember caring anyway. You’ll just be remembering the memory of caring and who cares about that?!
My friend’s take on memories is thus:
“[Memories] are a matrix of what you actually remember and what you’ve been told you remember combined with what you think you remember or want to think you remember”
I agree. The other day another friend simply wrote himself into one of my memories. He was immediately and irrefutably made aware that he had just committed memory fraud. There was no maliciousness to his claims; this is just how the brain works I suppose. Because he wanted to remember the moment, he did. This did not stop me from feeling somewhat violated. Memories are precious and personal which makes it all the more upsetting when they are stolen or falsified.
I have also been found guilty of memory misconduct. A few weeks ago I discovered a photo underneath a stack of albums which, up until that moment, I believed to be a snapshot only present in my mind’s eye. It was a strange moment. If what I believe to be memories aren’t actually my memories who’s to say any of my memories are real? I found that the best way of coping with this stress was just not thinking about it. This has been my mantra since day dot.
Here is my rundown of my most notable (possibly made-up / possibly photographs / possibly other peoples’) first memories that have stayed with me over the years:
1. Possibly my first ever ‘memory’ (I emphasise the inverted commas). I’d like to say it was foreshadowing the great life that would follow… I am at nursery and a little boy walks out of a shed. Unbeknown to him, he is still attached to the shed via an ever-growing, luminous green bogey (or ‘dried nasal mucus’ as Wikipedia informs me) that stretches across the room until it is broken, like a marathon finishing line tape, by another little boy’s face. I wonder what became of Ol’ Bogey Face. I guess I’ll never know. As a serial ‘embellisher’ maybe Ol’ Bogey Face never got bogey on his face. Maybe there was no bogey at all. Deep.
2. Coming in at number two, and slightly more unsettling than snot-gate, is as follows. I wake up in the middle of the night and look over to my bedroom door which I expect to be closed. To my horror it is wide open and a large, white, Casper-like cartoon ghost fills the doorway. My reaction is to run straight through the ghost to my parents’ room at which point the memory dies. I don’t believe in ghosts. It was most likely a dream.
3. My next ‘memory’ is of going on holiday with my Grandma and Papy in Cornwall. The wind blows in our faces as we stand on a collection of sand dunes behind a vast beach. This is the aforementioned memory that I found to be contrived after discovering a photograph depicting the snapshot in time I thought only existent through my own eyes. Oh well.
So what do these first ‘memories’ mean? Why are these seemingly throwaway (minus perhaps the ghost ‘memory’, oOOoh) recollections the ones that remain in my mind after all these years?
I don’t like bogeys, I don’t like ghosts and I don’t like beaches (the most overrated landform in my opinion). Whether these memories are accurate or not, they appear to have been stored in my mind as warnings of what I don’t like in this world.
My lack of scientific knowledge / methodological research means this tangent must now stop. I have run out of proverbial straws to clutch. I will begin writing proper bloggy stuff soon I promise. I apologise for that abrupt, Coen brothers-esque culmination.
Between starting and finishing this post I have been invited to do a Masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, London. This makes me happy. It goes without saying that sport, amongst other things, will be a major talking point on this blog of mine.
That’s enough for now though. I really must stop writing.