I have bad memory, very bad. I don’t know if it has to do with the age or it’s the nature that
I can’t remember any combination of more than four numbers. I even have problem to remember my debit card PIN number
I keep loosing important documents. Few months ago it was the I-20 (a mandatory document to re-enter the country for a grad student) and this time I lost my passport
I have problem remembering birthdays of people, even the most important ones. It’s really not a matter of importance, but a matter of if I have marked the date on the calender. Once I forgot my BFF Mara’s birthday and she almost killed me. But since she’s my BFF and she forgave me
By default, I don’t submit documentations before the deadline. The secretary of our department doesn’t know what to do with me anymore because I always appear in front of her with an innocent face asking for help.
etc etc…. ok, don’t say it, I know, shame on me.
Although I’ve never worried too much about the fact that I can’t remember many things, I was not proud of it. However, recently I’ve realized that having bad memory can be a good thing too. It can actually make you a happier person. Let me explain.
I’ve got a job that I wanted, I’ve been on vacation mode since last december, I have Star with me (finally!) and I have a big wedding soon. Everything is fantastic and I’m in my happiest. And then, when I try to remember what I’ve done during the last four years, the pain that I went through, the stress that I had to deal with alone, I have problem remembering those feelings. I can remember the facts:
The first year of the grad school. Settling in a new place and learning the toughest materials I’ve ever studied.
The comprehensive exam in summer 2007, in which I spent 60 days (9-10 hrs/day) preparing it.
The third year, being lost and hopeless when searching for dissertation topic.
The fourth year, trying to finish the paper to apply for jobs.
But I can’t remember how tough those moments were. They seem so far away from the present that I can even say it was not a big deal. Although I’m sure by then it was a HUGE deal.
My bad memory is not only with school, but also with relationships. I don’t remember much bad things that people has done to me, when I remember someone it comes naturally to mind only good quality of this person and enjoyable moments we shared.
Being happy is about having good memories about the past and being hopeful about the future. And being hopeful about future is only possible if past experiences taught us that everything happens for a good reason even if it doesn’t show so at the beginning.
Bottom line: having bad memory, which for many seems to be a fault, can in fact makes us happier!