The romanticizing of things

View from the place where everything happened 9 years ago.

I recently went to a place that had a big history for me, personally. It happened nine years ago, although it felt so fresh to me. I remember every detail, every emotion, every conversation, everything. This was the place when I met my first crush when I was fourteen; exactly 10 years ago (if you count 2014). 

Though the feelings had gone and though we live completely separate lives and are strangers now, the story was something I hold very dear and one that I have retold over and over again until it lost its originality and realness. Though it was real to me, I felt like parts of it were exaggerated, clouded by raging hormones and pride that I have towards my 14-year old self for being able to ‘score’ a guy during a short getaway.

Nine years later, I visited the place again where ‘the most magical love story’ happened once upon a time ago. Suddenly, there was a rush of memories. Every corner I turn, images of us appeared in my head. I yelled and squealed and took pictures, followed by an excited story telling session that I forced people to hear, “Over here was when he….” to which everyone kindly listened followed by an obligatory “Awww!”.

The point of this post is not to reminisce my history or to talk about my teenage ‘love’ life, but rather to highlight the fact that we tend to romanticize things which often leave me wondering whether what I was telling was actually the truth or has it been romanticized after all these years? Then I start to think about all the pictures that I took, edited and put on Facebook and how by editing these pictures or by posing a certain way (smiling, flattening the belly etc), was I actually altering history and memories? I think I did read somewhere saying that edited pictures alter our memories of a certain experience or past. No wonder some people tend to only want to remember things through their minds and not be bothered to take pictures. 

Somehow, coming back from that trip kind of shook me. Though I was excited at first, I can’t help but feel that it was all made-believe by my 14-year old self. Sure, everything that happened there was real, I had memories of that, but the feelings that I had that time was amplified with pride and gushy mushy feelings when in reality, everything may have been mundane and boring (normal?) but was changed and reconstructed as time went by.

The same can be applied to autobiographers who wrote their stories by stating events that happened to them as a child. Although there is truth in their accounts, the reality is that it is a person from the present writing about events in retrospect albeit an event of their own; i.e., a 50-year old man interpreting his emotions as a 14-year old boy. Question is, how can you say for sure there is accuracy in his interpretation? It may just be an interpretation of his emotion based on his 50-year old self and not of his actual 14-year old self, unless of course he started writing since he was 14, then there would be a real representation of him. I forgot who came up with this theory, was it Foucault? I need to find out about this. I remember learning about this in university.Boo Jasmine, boo!

But anyway, ahh memories! Don’t you just love them! Which reminds me, I have a few stacks of diaries written by my 12-year old self (up until 16, if I’m not mistaken) that I need to revisit. Have a nice week!

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