Older people talk about how forgetful they are, and while only in my late thirties, I’m starting to notice my own forgetfulness. But, I actually don’t care. I’m not ashamed of it.
For example, I might forget someone’s name. I vigorously started learning first and last names of my peers in elementary school (and of course the middle names of my BFFs.) Soon I was in secondary and high school, where I was flooded with more new names and faces. I memorized most of them (after all, I wanted to be “in the know”), including those who were friends of my parents and sibling. My college years brought me in contact with another new set of people at my university and so did my first job where I catered very personally to special clients.
Names were more than just words: they became personalities and left impressions on my heart. I now feel things when I hear a familiar name. Memories emerge. Images of expressions, smiles, and eyes flash in my mind upon hearing a name.
The sea of faces only became greater when I went to graduate school and then when I started my career. I married, and more names and faces were learned as my husband’s family and friends became my family and friends. Married life has resulted in several moves overseas, and the parade of people has only continued.
So if I can’t remember a name, not only do I go easy on myself, I have a slight feeling of pride.
Starting out in life, I prided myself on knowing first AND last names. So, what if I can’t remember someone’s first name, let alone full name?
That’s okay. I wouldn’t trade it for my full life.