Remember to Forget

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It took me a minute, actually a few minutes to realise that I had sat in this same spot about two years ago. It gave me a sort of a déjà vu feeling only that it wasn’t, it was real, I had been here before. Same hotel, same spot in the restaurant overlooking the sea shore, and even much more surreal the exact same time of the day. So I fixed my eyes on the sea, it was one of those nights when the waters were tempest. They beat against each other angrily in the dark of the night. You could literally hear the rushing of the waves to and fro the shore. There were no people at the restaurant, just one or two attendants who sat there grudgingly waiting for me to leave.

They had dimmed the lights, maybe because I was the only one there or in a sense trying to read my mood because who seats alone at the seashore restaurant at that hour anyway? I sipped away on my cocktail, some jazz music played in the background, I sat there, my mind engulfed in deep thought. It hit me that there was a stark difference between the last time I was here and this time round.

The first time I had been here I wasn’t okay. Not okay is actually an understatement. I was in a deep hole, a bottomless pit of depression and despair. I was hurt, crushed and at the point of giving up on life. You couldn’t convince me that there was anything good about this life, no! I was sure that my life, as I knew it then was fast grinding to a halt. I had no appetite, didn’t even want to see or smell food, I couldn’t sleep-I’d get into bed and lay there eyes wide open for hours on end. Sometimes I would be awake the whole night, on the better days, sleep would hit me like a mild storm for an hour or two in the wee hours of the morning. I had lost weight. I was emaciated.

I needed reassurance every other minute. If you didn’t reassure me I would breakdown-saying things to do with how I hate myself and how I wanted to die. You know those things that you keep saying when you are depressed? Those ‘I want to die now! I am useless! Why-was-I-even-born-kind-of-things? That’s what I was all about. I was done with life. Life had done a number on me. There’s a way life can hit you that the pain becomes so excruciating until you become numb. It’s okay when you can still feel the pain because that means that you are still normal, that your reactions are still intact. But you should be worried when you become numb, when you are just there, no pain, no joy, no hurt, no nothing just there. That’s where I was and I wanted to die, I was done with just being there because there was nothing to live for anyway, or so I thought.

That was then. On this day, I was okay, alive even, shockingly. I had not died! Thank God for not granting my desire. I was kicking, very much so. I was at peace. I had a glitter and a glimmer on my face. I had a grin even, a happy one. I had added weight, the good kind of weight. I looked happy and content. My state couldn’t be compared to the state I was in back then. I was okay, better than okay.

And so, at this point, it hit me that it is important to remember to forget. I thought that the one thing that actually got me to the point of peace and joy, where I was then, was the gift of forgetfulness. That I had gone through so much a few years ago, so much that I lost it at some point, and now, I could sit and ask myself “Wait, what was that that I was going through?” “Why did I want to end my life?” “Why was I that hurt? About what even?” I realised that my heart had slowly started forgetting. My mind was slowing deleting the memories that had once subjected me to pain, torture and hurt. Some of the events had been erased, others had been blocked, some were still there but they were fading away. I was forgetting.

So I thought to write this at the beginning of the year and tell you to remember to forget. I don’t know what it is that you went through in the past year. I have no idea how much you had to overcome to make it into the New Year in once piece. I won’t lie to you that I even understand your pain, agony or sheer trauma in the past year. If I said I understand, I’d be lying, so no, I don’t understand, heck I don’t even know. But, what I’d ask you to do is to practice what I am telling you- to remember to forget. Don’t keep the hurt, the pain, the trauma- don’t keep. Do not dwell on it. It hurt you, yes, but you can’t dwell on it. At some point you have to deliberately decide to leave that space and move on.

As I sat there, at the seashore, that night, I suddenly realised that I had lost the pain, hurt and trauma I had back then. It had been replaced with peace, joy and contentment. But I had made a bold decision to let the bad memories go. You know what the most interesting thing about this whole situation is? That I was back to the same place where I was hurting two years ago but this time, I was perfectly fine. If I cried now it wasn’t because I was hurting, no! it was because I couldn’t believe that this was me in the same place I was when I was completely giving up.

We are in 2024, it is a New Year, you’ve been through a lot, do yourself a favour, remember to forget. And as you do so, go back to the places where you once sat, defeated, weary, hurt, and almost giving up and say “look at me now, I am still here.” Remember to forget!

Happy New Year!

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5 Comments
  1. I’m reminded of a statement from John C Maxwell a leadership connoisseur;”yesterday is gone, you can’t repair, tomorrow is coming prepare”.

    #GiftOfForgetfulness

  2. Your story is truly inspiring. It serves as a powerful reminder of the strength we possess to overcome adversity and find peace within ourselves. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to remember to forget as we embrace the new year.

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