Sometimes my encounters leave a tiny residue in my memory, sometimes the impression is greater. I can remember being frustrated in college because I could not seem to force the Russian language into my brain no matter how much I tried then other things that had little to no importance would leave an indelible mark that still remains over 30 years later. I met a friend last night to go see a concert and I asked him “What’s the first Rule?” to which he immediately (and correctly) replied “Paul is cheap!” This was a concept we touched on the first day we met several years ago. You just never can tell what will stick.
That brings me to the recovery part of the story. (Hint: there’s ALWAYS a recovery part of my stories) The cuts, nicks, and smudges on my memory are there in large part based on the situations in which I put myself. It goes back to the old adage “Garbage In – Garbage Out”. If I am trying to change my life I won’t be able to eliminate all of the experience and influence of my past, but I certainly can monitor what goes into my collective memory from here on out. If I’m hanging out with the same old crowd, I’ll likely collect the same old memories. If I listen to the same music, I’ll probably feel the same way. If I watch the same TV and movies, I’m apt to fall into the same old thoughts. Simply put: if I want to change, I need to change.