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My Amnesia File

Last week a friend of mine pointed out, “You need to let go of that.” My friends tend to say that a lot to me. I’m just one of those people who has difficulty in letting go of pretty much anything.

I still remember the grade 5 student who asked if I wanted a piece of gum and then told me she didn’t have any; the coworker who sat beside me for less than a month but I still wonder how she’s doing; the now out-of-print novel, Cards of Grief by Jane Yolen that I leant to my sister and she never returned. I often pride myself on having an excellent memory. But in terms of letting go of emotions and other miscellaneous baggage, it can be a liability.

I do all those things I shouldn’t – replay past mistakes over and over again in my head; visit my regrets like they are old friends; fixate on what has happened instead of being present in the moment. I suspect I do these things because it’s safe and familiar – while stuck in the past, I don’t have to face things that scare me, like the unknown or worse, change.

Earlier this week, I watched a mystery show on TV. If he reported the situation to the police, it would cause another person unnecessary trouble. In response to being asked her opinion about what he should do, his friend advises, “Put that in your amnesia file.” Something resonated with me.

What a great idea! Not being invited (seven years ago) to attend a concert with a group of coworkers; the grade fiver sans bubble gum; wondering why my last place of employment really laid me off – into the amnesia file it goes! Ever since I saw that program, it’s been my battle cry. Something bubbled up from the past to haunt me, into the amnesia file it went.

It’s actually quite liberating. The only drawback is I’m going to need a very big file cabinet.


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