Alone

Have you ever thought about how we’re alone in the world? When you look past your friends and family members; the people who love and care about you, it’s easy to see how alone we truly are. You don’t know what it’s like to be me, just like I don’t know what it’s like to be you. Our experiences and upbringings largely determine how we end up; our identities; what we like and don’t like; our core values and beliefs… and all of these are stored as memories. I am the only one able to access my memories, the only one who can re-live them. If two people share an experience, they both have memories of that experience, but they will be unique to each individual. If two people are sitting on a mountain overlooking a beautiful sunset, they’ll each be seeing it from a different perspective, no two people able to see it exactly the same, and thus, their memories will be different. Some people might think it’s the most beautiful sunset they’ve ever seen, whereas others may think it wasn’t that special, and that they’ve seen better. These differences in how we perceive things illustrate how unique we all are, and how no two people can ever be the same… which brings me back to being alone. So often, I think of people who were briefly a part of my life – we may have shared an experience, or they may have taught me something – and I can’t help but wonder if they remember me too. I could bring up a vivid memory of mine and share it with the person who is part of that memory, and they haven’t the slightest clue what I’m talking about. In these moments, I realise how truly alone we really are. Without someone or something to validate our memories, our minds are the only thing telling us they actually happened. It’s terrifying, particularly when I think of people who have their memories ripped away from them either through amnesia or Alzheimer’s, because they’re literally losing everything that made them who they once were. We’re essentially living through our memories and each moment in the present will become one of the past, a concept that exists entirely in our minds. We live alone in our heads, never really knowing how other people are living, or if they even exist at all.

-S

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