Today at 1:30 (or whenever via modern technology) you can listen to my national radio debut (skip to about 1:09:00 if you just want me), telling a tale from my storied past. I went digging for a picture to share with you of the particular era in question, and couldn’t find much. Lots of grade 9, lots of grade 11, but mysteriously only one photo, from a newspaper story, that I can pin down as definitely 1994. It is a black hole in my chronology, which is weird, because it was a pretty important year.
The unsettling part of all this nostalgia is how much I’ve forgotten. I suddenly can’t recall names of people I thought I’d never forget, or more accurately, I’m suddenly aware I’ve forgotten them. Part of me thinks it is normal to lose track of details that no longer have a presence in your daily life, but another part of me sees it as a flaw in my character: each of these people has value, and by not bothering to remember them, I am somehow declaring them unworthy of remembering.
I try to be a person who communicates love and respect to everyone around me, and yet I know I fail at it miserably on a regular basis. I am not naturally gregarious. I have to make an effort to start conversations. I come across as a snob because of how unbearably shy I feel most of the time.
So while I’m not beating myself up for not knowing the first name of “W. Somerville” (who I even had a crush on!), this trip down memory lane has been a subtle nudge to my better nature. A reminder that remembering, respecting, and loving people takes some effort and attention. There’s no question they deserve it.