Imagine yourself waking up one fine morning with no idea of who you are-all memory of self wiped out and seeing so many faces claiming to be related to you in one way or the other. Who is telling you the truth and who isn’t? Are they in your good books or not? Are you really who they say you are or are they fabricating stories to make you feel better about yourself?
As scary as the thought of it might be, that of not remembering who anyone else is must be equally overwhelming. But come to think of it, one’s memory of himself isn’t just about him alone. It encompasses every person who has had a significant influence on us and every experience we have had with others. So how can one forget who he is and not the people around him?
In the same vein, how can one forget who everyone else is and not himself? We are who we are because of where we are and who are with. You are someone’s child, spouse, parent, friend, employer/employee, competitor, neighbor, client…you are someone’s something. How can you know who you are by yourself with no ties to anyone else? I don’t know how that’s possible.
What am I saying? I sincerely do not know. Is the question wrong in itself? Maybe. Can I give a right answer to a probable wrong question? Let’s see.
Forgetting who I am is like being given a clean slate; having my refresh button pressed and reset mode activated. I get to see myself in someone else’s eyes. I get defined by a third party’s descriptions. I become what others say I am because that’s all I know. Or I get to discover myself all over again by myself. Does my personality change? How will I know unless someone tells me?
On the other hand, forgetting everyone around me gives me a fresh opportunity to know people. Some people are not as good or bad as we think they are. Some first impressions were falsely perceived but this would be a second chance to correct that. However, people could take advantage of the situation and portray themselves differently to be in our good graces. Is that a good thing? Maybe, depending on how well you can manipulate that to your advantage.
I don’t want to forget who I am or maybe I should say, who I think I am; self-discovery is a working progress for me. People only know a side or some sides of me but never the full picture. I need to know who I am for myself, for my own sanity.
As for forgetting everyone else, well, I tend to forget people who fade off in my life after a while so it wouldn’t be such a shocker. I just have to start knowing them all over again. That’s life.
What about you? Who would you rather forget and why? Kindly share your thoughts.
© Josephine Amoako 2017