Day 7: The thing(s) you’re most afraid of.
While it’s true that ants and mice and things like that make me uncomfortable (see Day 3), what I’m most afraid of is forgetting. As a young teenager I had the traumatic experience of watching my beloved grandmother’s cheery and spry demeanor diminish over a few short years due to dementia, a progressive syndrome that affects memory, attention, language, and causes disorientation. It was tough to watch, but I guess something I learned is to cherish your memories while you have them, and live in the moment while you still can.
I’ve always been an avid diary-keeper, and I’m not just talking about scrawling a line here or there, but lines upon lines of descriptions, predictions, lists, resolutions, and even a couple poems when I was feeling inspired. I have a couple boxes under my bed full of old pictures with friends, ticket stubs from concerts and movies, mementos from boyfriends and past dates, and even a piece of the hem of my favorite prom dress, so I can relive both the good and trying times whenever I’m feeling nostalgic.
I keep an agenda book religiously and live for sticky notes and dry erase boards, writing to-do lists for that day, that week, that month, or even that year. While all this makes me a very organized and neurotic efficient person, it helps me remember and allows me the security of being able to flip back a couple pages and see what I was thinking that day or about that person.
In a way, re-reading an old diary is like reading my own autobiography, with comical anecdotes hidden between years of change, experience, and lessons learned. It’s impossible to remember everything that happens, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to. But, like anything else, the best you can do is prepare for the worst, but hope for the best, whatever that means to you.