shhh... it's a secret

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Meet me... in Montauk

Last night (late last night, I might add, yay!) I was watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (again), which, of course, got me thinking and prompted me to pose this question on Facebook:
"If you could permanently erase someone from your memory, would you?"
I was totally unprepared for the debate that followed. Before I share with you the Facebook convo, let me explain where I was coming from with this question. 

I very rarely regret anything in my life. In fact, I tend to regret the things I didn't do over the things that I did do. I truly believe that all the bad decisions and shit storms that have occurred in my life have made me who I am today. And, for the most part, I am happy with that.  

On the other hand, there are moments when I have a hard time getting over the good things and good people in my life that are no longer present. And yes, while it could be argued that they have also made me who I am, sometimes the good memories are just too painful to keep re-living. So yes, sometimes, I wonder if I wouldn't be better off not remembering what once was. 

And now onto the Facebook convo, because I'm sure you're all just dying to read it:

OBG If you could permanently erase someone from your memory, would you?

Barcelona Eternal Sunshine style? Hard to say. I've certainly considered it though! Ugh.

SMos No, however the reason we begin to forget or things become less clear over time is a human defense mechanism (Radiolab, 2009)

Barcelona A g r e e d .

OBG @ Barcelona- Yes, E.S. style. I'm more inclined to erase the good memories, not the bad ones
@ SMos- Huh. And when exactly does that start kicking in?

SMos hopefully soon ;)
Btw I ♥ the little boy's facial expression in your profile pic on the left

Minced Fish It seems to me that forgetting people is a pretty shitty defense mechanism. I wouldn't want to forget what I have learned from the people I would have been better off not knowing.

Conch Shell HELLA yes, with a capital hella.

OBG @ SMos- That's Ben. He and I are best buds.
@ Minced Fish- Good point. You are wise (good lord, don't tell anyone I said that).

OBG @ Conch Shell- :)

Twin Yes.

Twin No. I change my mind.

Mama A Defense mechanism? And here I thought it was just aging....

Hoopster Nah-everyone (even those who suck) turns you into who you are. Everything is a lesson learned. I look at it that way.

Foxy Lady YUP...

Capitol OH yeah...... I wish I could permanently erase 2 or so years!!!

BC I don't think so. No matter how much you may dislike someone, if it wasnt for them you wouldnt be who you are today. Pretty corny right?

Capitol Yeah really corny and I think there is some truth to that but you are who you are.... and I dont think that every person that comes into your life changes it.... I see hundreds of people everyday but I dont think they change my life at all.....

BC The fact that you just brought them up in conversation means that they have changed your life. Even people I have never met and have only seen in passing have changed my life. I like myself (for the most part) and I thank everyone for that, even that kid I got in a fight with in junior high school.

Capitol WOW.... thats really deep.... I'm still not sold... you watch too much Lifetime TV.... but thats cool.... I get it.... I guess

BC Well as long as you get it... I guess your life changed a little.

Beautiful Girl i'm so with you BC... you are who you are beacause of the experiances you've had... good, bad, and ugly!

Care to weigh in? What are your thoughts on the subject? Are there things, people or memories in your life you think you would be better off forgetting? Comment away!


cbs111 said...

No way would I erase them. I learned valuable lessons from them. Like how to see someone and judge whether to junk punch them or give them a shot. I wouldn't want to change that.

Laura said...

I completly agree I only regret things I didn't do in certain situations aside from what I did do. Even the worst things has had a purpose in my life.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind forgetting a few things. But maybe I already have forgotten the worst and don't know it because its forgotten. Maybe the crap I do remember that I wish I could forget wasn't really all that bad compared to the other stuff I've forgotten. HA.

Alyssa Kate said...

I've done a lot of stupid things in my young life that, sometimes, when I think about them, I wince a little. But I wouldn't erase them at all. It's what I wanted to do at that time, and probably felt good. Although some of the consequences where horrible, I've learned from them, and have come through a stronger person.

An experience is an experience, and is different for everyone. Why get rid of that amazing comprehension we have as humans?

McGriddle Pants said...

I agree. I don't think I'd erase anyone from my memory (and if the movie proves anything, it proves that you CANT erase them, they're always there)

I've never "regretted" my dating decisions, or friend decisions. I know it sounds masochistic, but I really think its all those shitty, shitty, lonely, tear-filled times are the moments that remind us that we're truly alive. And makes us appreciate those amazingly wonderful times all the more. (and gives us something to strive for)

Christy said...

I've always felt that we are who we are because of who we meet, live with, or love. So for me, the answer would be no. No regrets or changes do I wish for.

Salt said...

I fully agree with you. I wouldn't want to take any of what has happened to me back because every little bit of it has led me to this point right now. And I definitely wouldn't want to change right now.

Steve G. said...

I believe that psychologically, there is something to perhaps losing earlier, traumatic childhood memories. I listen to lots of Loveline, and one thing Drew harps about a lot is how childhood trauma can crystalize and excite when you're an adult. If that's the case, some Eternal Sunshine treatment could be useful for that trauma.

However, when we're talking about memories from your teenage years and beyond, then I do think it would be a shitty defense mechanism, much as the Minced Fish says.

Amber said...

I have no desire to erase anyone from my memory. Though there are some embarrassing moments--moments that aren't funny retrospectively, moments that haven't taught me anything--that I wouldn't mind getting rid of. I think that a person would've had to have severely traumatized me for me to even consider wanting to erase them. And thankfully, I haven't had anyone like that enter my life.

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