Thursday, April 12, 2012

Following Instructions

Yesterday was an interesting day. It was one of those days when I realize, yes I've come very far, but I still have so far to go. Maybe it's a confidence issue, maybe it's not. Maybe I'm just not introspective enough to figure that out. And, maybe it doesn't matter either way and I should just stop rambling about it now since it doesn't really affect the outcome of what I have to say here.

I learned (relearned?) yesterday how to fold down the back seats of my car to extend the cargo area. (Within that sentence lies the problem.) Sounds innocuous enough I suppose. That's really no big deal. I picked up the owners manual of my car, looked up how to do something, and did it.

Yet, the simple act of learning how to do something raises a question for me that I wish I never had to ask again. A question I am tired of others questioning me on, so how sick am I of myself asking this question over and over again, every time I learn something "new". Am I learning or am I relearning? Is this something I didn't know how to do already, or is it something I've had to pick up again because I already knew but don't remember? It's frustrating and terrifying because I can't even tell you if the simplest act is something I learned at one point in time or not. That's just one of those memory things I haven't gotten back.

I've remembered objects, people, places, emotions....all of it wonderful to remember, even if it wasn't wonderful to experience in the first place. Every memory treasured for being just that - a memory. It's the things I can't remember that drive me crazy. I don't remember the taste of foods I have eaten before until I taste them again. (If I'm lucky) I remember eating the food and whether or not I liked it before, but I still have to taste it again to tell you why. I don't remember television shows or movies I've watched until I, at least start to, watch them again. I can remember whether or not I've seen it (sometimes) and if I liked it or despised it, but not the plot or the twists and turns within it. Even reading the synopsis of the show/movie doesn't help.  I can remember whether or not I did something (every once in a while), but not whether I learned how to do it or just figured it out by experience.

Basically, the details are missing in so many little every day, normal, thought free moments of my life that I have no every day, normal, thought free moments some days. I'm sure there are people reading this that are thinking "Well, I don't remember learning how to do...." (fill in the blank here, people. It's called imagination. Use it.), but the problem is, you do remember learning. If you think back hard enough, you will remember the first time you did something. (Okay, not walking, talking, burping, etc. Can we focus, please?)

I'm sure you can remember the first time you changed the oil on your vehicle, or the first time you used certain computer programs. These weren't things you just automatically knew how to do (unless your a genius, and I'm not talking to you anymore, Smart Alec!!) You either had to follow someone's instructions, like a mentor or instruction manual, or you had to figure it out on your own.

In the beginning of my amnesia, it was pretty much a given that everything I was learning WAS in fact relearning of things I already knew. People would tell me that I used to be great at something, and I would strive to be great at it again (or at least mediocre). Now it's less black and white. Now I go out on my own to find things to learn (relearn?) how to do. I don't rely on other people telling me I already knew something before because I need to discover who I am, not who I was. However, knowing that the previous statement is true doesn't make me question the process any less. Learning or relearning, and is there really a difference? I mean if you're relearning something, you're still learning it just....again.  AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

Does anyone have a spare instruction manual for life? I seem to have lost mine and can't seem to figure any of this out without following instructions!!

 This life has been a test. If this had been an actual life, you would have received instructions on where to go and what to do. ~ My So Called Life

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