Personal Geography

I wish that I could remember the geography of my own life better.

It could be seen as a little embarrassing, being a geography major. This isn’t about remembering that the water is blue, and north is up. It’s about how so many details on the maps of my life seem to be missing.

I remember the layouts, but the details are missing. I could walk through the house without bumping into anything, sure. But can I remember how the carpet of my basement felt on my feet? How about exactly where all the ingredients were in my kitchen when I wanted to make my favourite snack? The muscle memory might be there, but the actual memory is hazy.

I want to remember. I forget things I say or do often. I repeat myself. My biggest fear when this happens is that my mind is going. In a way, it is going. It’s going too fast.

It isn’t deteriorating, but it’s in an accelerated mode so often. Full of worries or stresses that I have no control over, I only seem to do a cursory glance over places I am. Rooms I spend time in I only know the basic shapes. Cities I live in I only know the major roads.

The world moves fast. Yet I move faster than it, afraid to be behind and instead allowing myself to miss out. I’m on to the next moment instead of living in this one.

Maps change, I get it. The topography, the ownership of buildings, the placement of furniture, it all changes. I don’t want it to stop changing. I just want it to stay still for a second so I can try and memorize it. The angles and the feelings. The way the sun shines in and the spots it misses.

It’s not really about the world having to stay still. I have to stay still. Just for a moment.

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