Do you remember how you met your best friends, significant others, and other important people in your life? How about the very first time you crossed paths? Can you recall that exact moment in detail?
As someone who suffers from memory problems, I have a hard time recollecting that moment when I first met someone. I can usually remember where and how, but rarely what happened during that first meeting.
But there are a few moments I remember quite vividly in my mind. Meeting one of my closest childhood friends on the playground and listening to her tell me about her dogs. Meeting my very first crush in the first grade – he had introduced himself to everyone in the class (and one day, he gave me a pet rock, which I kept it for years). Meeting one of my (still) best friends on the first day of middle school when we were partnered up for a classroom safety assignment. Meeting a friend during a fundraising event at our university and being fascinated by the tale of her unique name.
I wonder why these moments stick out to me. Why can I only recall certain memories with the people I know? There are some people with whom I was or am closer with, yet I would not be able to recall and recite a play-by-play of the first time we met. Is there a significance to this selective memory? Is there a reason why my mind was paying closer attention to these people at that point in time?
I’d say that in every case, there was either an instant connection where I got the feeling that we’d be best friends forever, or a mutual association that grew into a deeper friendship over time. And if that wasn’t the case, there was something so significant about that person that, even after we had lost touch, I’d always be linked to them somehow. Take the first crush for example: he was an exchange student and went home to Australia at the end of the year, so who knows where he could be now, but in any case, he was my first crush. Nothing can erase that (even though I have since lost that pet rock – RIP Rocky). But still, why can’t I remember the rest?
The answer is unknown to me, and I don’t know if there’s a sensical explanation for all this, but it’s something I’ve been pondering over. If you have any ideas, feel free to share.
“Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.” – Unknown
Image by Charlie Foster.