Making Memories

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a correlation with the growth of social media and the term/trend of ‘making memories’. It’s one of my bugbears.

These days, plastered all over my Facebook are people posting photos about days out, holidays, special occasions – a lot with the concept of making memories. People try to project the perfect image of their life and family to their “friends” on social media. It just feels so forced. Like you’re trying to force yourself/your family into remembering certain things to make life appear like it’s all sunshine and roses.

Here are some of the memories I remember from my childhood holidays;

  • Throwing up over myself and my favourite teddy on the way to Dorset for our summer holiday when I was very small.
  • Not being allowed in the Thomas Hardy cottage on another Dorset holiday and so just hanging around outside, bored, with my dad.
  • Traipsing around, being made to look at the Bayeux Tapestry when I was 10 in France. 
  • Suffering ear pain that was so severe I thought my eardrum was going to burst whilst on holiday in Greece but not being taken to the local doctor to have it seen to for some reason.

And they’re my holiday memories. The ones that are meant to be the best… the happiest memories of all.

Memories good, bad, sad, hilarious or embarrassing should not be forced. There’s so much about modern life that’s a fake construct, that it just feels so fake to me when people talk about memory making with their 2 day old. Give me a break.

Here are some memories I have, that are just in my brain. That weren’t forced there by being told WE ARE MAKING MEMORIES RIGHT NOW, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. These are just some things my brain has happened to let stick around…

  • When I fell down the stairs and sprained my wrist because I was wearing my mum’s high heel shoes.
  • The fear I felt as I child having to get something from the freezer in the garage because the freezer was next to the pile of coal we needed for our boiler and I was convinced someone was hiding in there, ready to attack me.
  • The first time I ever kissed my husband when we were awkward and 14.
  • The banana-tasting medicine I used to have to take because of constant throat infections I had as a child/teenager.
  • Having such a bad reaction to the Pill when I was 17, I thought I was going to die.
  • My husband fainting on me after seeing me get a blood test.
  • Hating my life, working as a checkout assistant at my local supermarket, wishing an injury on myself so I wouldn’t have to work there anymore.
  • The day before my wedding sitting in a coffee shop, trying to apply for a British Airways flying club membership so I could collect points for my honeymoon flight to Las Vegas (even at 25, I never missed a chance to earn some reward points!).
  • Having to lay down on top of Pike O’ Blisco in the Lake District because the wind was so strong it would’ve knocked us down had we not laid down.

There’s obviously a mix of remarkable and everyday things on that list. But they’re my real memories. Just these collections of things that have stuck in my brain over the last 32 years on this planet.

They’re just in there; I didn’t prep my brain to remember to put a particular event in the ‘memory’ compartment.

Don’t force memories. We’ll remember what we remember. I’m 100% sure I have forgotten things that if I remembered them, I would wish I hadn’t forgotten them.

Memories can be great; they bring happiness and laughter at remembering them. Memories can also be painful. I have memories I wish I didn’t have. That I wish I could trade for some of those happy ones I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

I appreciate the intention behind the concept. I understand that people would like their children to remember the fun, amazing things that they planned and arranged for them. The holiday that they saved so hard for. But, just let it be. Let’s everyone just take pause, don’t worry about what we’re going to remember 20 years from now and just live for the present.

Don’t do something with the intention of making a memory. That seems a fake reason to do something. Do things because you’re interested in them or they bring you joy

I didn’t go to Puerto Rico with the sole intention of ‘making memories’. I went because I wanted to celebrate my husband turning 30 and to honour his existence in this world. We went because we were celebrating the present. But a wonderful coincidence of that is the memories I have of just how giddy we were because we couldn’t believe it could be so warm somewhere when it was November. Can you even imagine?! We had led such sheltered lives that we just hadn’t ever experienced a hot November before. And we just couldn’t get over it. We were so happy. That’s a sweet memory that I have. And it’s a memory that’s just a happy coincidence of celebrating  the present.

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