Remember Me?

by Jinryu

I just used my credit card the other day to pay for a few things. One is OSHC (Overseas Student Health Coverage), which I’ll need to maintain my student visa status in Australia, and one is the deposit to confirm that I am accepting the offer from University of New South Wales (Sydney). Total tag– a bit over 5000$ Canadian dollars. It’s a bit of an ouch, but I can take it.

I was looking through some old books the other day. I think that’s what’s most important to me about this blog. It’s not my first blog, and indeed, there even exists another blog which I maintain on top of this one, but my point is that memories are of paramount importance in life. It’s one of the reasons why things like old age, and more specifically, the dulling of memory, scares me so much. We’re collections of experience, that’s what our identities are made up of. But if you have no memories? Something you have experienced may as well not have happened.

And if an experience didn’t happen– what of the lessons?

If we can’t remember things as close to the truth as possible, then we’re at the mercy of unconscious memories– things like muscle memory, or ‘gut feelings.’ You never forget how to ride a bike, they say, but– do you remember how happy you were when you got your first bike?

I’ve found that I’ve always appreciated a papertrail of sorts, to reconnect with who I was.

The other day, I found an old book– The Tao of Jeet Kune Do. There was a time that this thing was like my bible. It wasn’t just at the center of my way of interpreting martial arts– it was at the center of my way for interpreting life itself.

Between the pages– I found a letter, from Concordia University, where I did my undergrad degree. It was from the 2004 semester, from the Arts department. It was warning me: my grades were so low that I was now on academic probation. If I didn’t pick up my game, I would be expelled by the following semester.

I’d forgotten all about that period of my life… but isn’t it amazing how holding something from a different time just transports you there? It’s like finding a key to an old diary.

That gave me a huge boost of confidence… that was me then, unsure of what was next, unsure of what even was tomorrow.

Today?

Today, I’m no longer that causeless rebel, not just someone who thought he was too smart for the world. I’m someone responsible, I’m someone loved and capable of being loved, I’m someone of character and dignity and moxy– and I can say this objectively, because, I grew out of someone cowardly an untrusting.

I like where I am in life, because I know tomorrow will be better. How far I’ve come! And yet… how much further there is for us to go!

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