Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What's Wrong With My Brain?

Don’t tell my wife I said this but there’s a lot of things I don’t remember. I listen to a lot of podcasts and hear people speak about remembering where and on what day they saw a particular movie from over a decade ago. They can supply numerous details about the weather on that day, the theater and where they stopped to eat before or afterwards. They have a rich tapestry of memories to draw upon it seems.

It doesn’t work that way for me. I can’t tell you what day of the week or the month and probably not the year (without looking it up) that I first saw Star Wars, or Aliens or any of literally thousands of other movies I’ve seen in my life. I can’t give tell you if I had popcorn or candy. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

It’s not just movies though. I also can’t recall a great many details of concerts I’ve seen other than the year (maybe) and the general period within that year (Summer? Fall?) that it occurred in. If you ask me about the set list I’m at a loss. I know I enjoyed it and I probably could tell you who I went with and perhaps I generally can remember the opening bands or if there were any. Then again, I’ve seen a lot of shows.

I am almost always reading a book but if you ask me about it a month afterwards I doubt I could tell you a great many details about it. By that point I’ve more than likely already read at least three more. If it’s in a series by the time the next one comes out I almost have to go back and read the previous one all over again if I want any sense of continuity.

The thing I’ve come to realize over my life is that I consume these things (books, movies, music) and other experiences very much in the minute and then I move on to the next. If I don’t retain anything I can always read or watch it again. That doesn’t really work for concerts of course. My only recourse at this point is to research it and write it all down as best I can.

The way I have come to feel about is that there is nothing wrong with the way my mind works. It is what it is and it does how it does. I don’t expect to be normal or like everybody else is because that use of terminology is just an illusion. There is no right or wrong way to be. I am the way I was created. It would be a rather horrid world to live in if everybody thought the same way, processed information the same way, expected the world to behave the way they thought was correct.

Wait a minute, aren’t we already on that road to intolerance of difference? Don’t we already expect others to think the normal, correct way and chastise others if they don’t agree? Shouldn’t I have a right to think the way I do and say what I want to say even if it’s different than your way and your opinion?

Of course we all have those rights. Just don’t expect to actually be able to use them.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

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