Remembering to Forget


I'm super forgetful. It's one of the reasons I love photography - I get to be my own life's historian and cement the past for myself to remember. But lately, it's been getting bad. I've developed an obsession with documenting everything. When traveling, I have a dying need to record every sunset or meal or random thought, in photographs and writing. I've conditioned myself to obsessively record every detail in fear losing memories into the dusty archives of my memory bank. My external harddrive has become an extension of my computer and my brain.

But how much of history needs to be recorded? When I want to refresh beautiful moments from good days I've had, I love having photos that jog my memory. When I want to look back at how much of a clueless child I was during those dark teenage years, I'm glad I can laugh at my old diary entries. But sometimes I look at my documentations of every single dollar I spent for a year and the thousands of saved screenshots on my phone and wonder why? What's the point of keeping this junk? I've become a digital hoarder, constantly looking back and treasuring the past instead of enjoying the present. I realize the most vibrant memories I relive in my head often are things I have no concrete documentation of. Maybe my life doesn't need to be organized so obsessive-compulsively for me to be okay. Maybe sometimes I need to remember to forget.