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The deceptive side of memories


Scatterbrained Creative
I've always wondered if there's a name for what I'm about to describe. Sometimes I still think of the people I knew when I was younger, who were the same age as me, but I later lost contact with, as still being that age. Even though logically I know that isn't the case. There are days when I randomly remember this. It's kind of bizarre.

People can change in unexpected ways. I remember unintentionally meeting someone again once, the last time we'd met we weren't on good terms. So I was hoping that I wouldn't be noticed, but I was. Quite a few years had passed since then. To my surprise, he greeted me whilst being friendly and explained who I was to someone he was with.

I think the problem with memories sometimes is that it is easy to think that the places and people involved haven't changed. One time I was hesitant to go somewhere with my family due to previous experiences. I had been bullied in an arcade/games room area, and at first I didn't want to go back there.

However, I'm glad I did. The experience served as I reminder that I was now safe. I didn't have to worry about the bullies anymore, they were no longer there. Time had moved on. We'd grown up. I now had more positive memories of the place, similar to how I used to feel about it before the incident. That was enough to help me to move on.

Granted, some places and people really don't change. But many do. There will probably be times in your life when you won't ever truly get closure. Parts of your story that have no satisfying ending. That's just how things are sometimes, despite how annoying it can be. Moments where you say "See you later" to someone, but you never do. In certain cases, it can actually be for the best. When you lose contact with particular friends, but realise that you weren't even that close anyway.

Sometimes it's easy to think that you haven't changed, as you marvel at how much others have. I know that I certainly have moments where I do. However, I think that the emotional changes we go through can be less obvious to ourselves than to others (but not always).

Viewing ourselves as if we were time travellers, simply existing in the current time but not changing from the past that we came from. Sometimes I feel as if I'm an impostor just pretending to be an adult when I'm actually just three kids in a trench coat. :laughing:

I like to remind myself that I have changed by reading old writings of mine. There are parts that remain consistent, but others where my perspective has definitely shifted since.
I agree with what the OP said.

When I encounter people from my past, I rarely recognize them, and I can't believe how old they look. Either I know who they are because it was planned, them introducing themselves, or someone introducing them to me. Yet every single time they immediately recognize me.

Another thing I notice with memories of people, particularly schoolmates, is when I think of how they appeared to me back then, is the same as they appeared to me later or even now. For example when I was in 1st grade, I saw 6th graders the same as I'd see 12th graders when I was in 7th grade, or the same as I'd see someone today who is 5 years older than me. I always saw them as adults.

I like to watch movies and shows from when I was a kid. I like to see how I perceive them differently now. Same with songs. Music appeared to be slower back then, the same songs and sound clips today feel sped up.

And when being younger, everything was so much bigger. My dad had (still does) have a 1 acre plot, and it seemed huge, even when I was old enough to mow it with the tractor. Now going there it seems so tiny.

But a lot of things have changed and the world is more heavily traveled. When I was a kid, going to Traverse City was a a twice a year thing, and going to Grand Rapids was twice a decade. After I grew up, I drove to TC daily for work, to and GR weekly for my daughter.

There's been a sign for a certain store, that for like 15-20 years, said "20 miles ahead on the left". Just last year they changed it to "19 miles ahead on the left". The store hasn't moved. The sign hasn't moved. Hence the world must really be getting smaller.
You'll only recall the information you have on hand,
until you upgrade it.

The people you knew when younger will remain forever young (in your memory) until you update the information.

I don't know what that's called though :)
Very often things seem different to you as a child to how you see them as an adult. Things or places that I enjoyed as a child seem to have little impact now, the magic is gone, like certain foods or shows I liked to watch. Part of the issue is that they are taken out of context and can seem no longer valid.

I went back to my old school a couple of years ago, and, apart from some rennovations and the addition of some new buildings, it hadn't changed that much. It triggered all sorts of memories and feelings, mostly negative.
Yes, how the people were and looked is how it remains in your mind until you see them later in life.
It's like watching a movie half way through but you don't get to watch it to the end until
years later. Where it left off is how you remember it. Unless you get to see the ending later.

One of my favourite songs Come Sail Away by Styx has a part in it that reminds me of this topic:
"...reflections on the waves spark my memories, some happy some sad, I think of childhood friends
and the dreams we had. Live happy forever, so the story's told, but somehow I missed out on the pot
of gold. Yet I'll try the best that I can to carry on..."
I think this memory phenomenon is the reason why we have the expression "You can't go home". I never understood the expression until now. What was real in our past stays with us as feelings and the images are like old film clips. You can't enter the film, so you cannot relive those experiences. All the ingredients have changed. I'm grateful for the memories, though. I tend to enjoy the good ones, and fast-forward through the awful ones.

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