Sunday March 26th, 2006 - 19:23

I cleaned out my old room at my parents house today.

I had some time to kill, and I didn't have much to occupy me, so I thought I'd go through some boxes and throw some stuff away. A few hours later I was sifting through stuff that was more than ten years old. Very strange feeling.

I found a bunch of photos taken by me and some friends that I don't see anymore. Photos of people I haven't talked to or heard from in a very long time.

It's interesting how you lose contact with people as you get older. When you're growing up, you tell yourself (and them) that you'll be best friends when you get older and maybe live next to eachother and have kids that play together and maybe work at the same company and hang out after work and do all the things you imagine grown ups do when you're a kid.

But I don't do any of that. I'm not married. I don't have any kids. I don't see any of the people I went to school with. I don't see any of the people I knew when I was younger. I can't imagine the stuff I do on a daily basis is what I'd expect grownups to do when I was a kid. I wonder if that means that I don't consider myself a grownup.

I saw a movie this weekend called "Unknown White Male" about a man who waked up with retrograde amnesia.

He wakes up on a train in New York heading to Coney Island, and he has no idea how he got there, where he's going, where he came from, or who he is.

The movie ends up being more about his life after the incident. Two years later, he still hasn't had his memory back. But his life is . . . amazing.

Imagine being an adult, and seeing everything for the first time. You get to experience every single thing as if you've never done it before. The first time you've had Pizza. First kiss. First sunset. First plane trip. First love.

Everyday was a learning experience for him. He was completely devoid of any stereotypes of preconceived notions of how things should be. He simply accepted everything he saw as a wonderful thing.

I found myself very envious.

At one point, the man's sister talks about how he is living life almost as if a child, but as a full grown adult with the ability to truly experience and enjoy the things he is doing and seeing. She talks about how each day he grows into a different person and he is truly able to adjust himself free from any limitations. She comments on how he's actually quite fortunate to be able to move forward without anything holding him back. Normally, people are so caught up in their own day to day life that they're unable to break free from anything to truly change their lives - even if they are unhappy.

I suppose sometimes it takes a near-death experience or in this case, a rebirth experience, to reset your mindframe so you can make extreme choices and changes in your life without being bogged down with what effect it will have on your social life, or your stamp collecting hobby.

How difficult is it to throw everything you have away and start anew?

It seems quite difficult - but I can't help but wonder about it.

I walked away from the movie feeling intense curiosity about the man's situation and the events that transpired after his accident. I was happy for him, because he was living his life and managing to be happy. But I was also sad.

Sad for the people everywhere who might be trapped in their lives - wishing they could change something, but lacking the strength or the catalyst to do so.

I suppose it begs the question:

If you could go somewhere and have your entire memory of past experiences and self-knowledge wiped - would you?

I think I would.


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