Those who know me well will tell you that I tend to be forgetful at times. I know they are right, I have been forgetful from my childhood days. At school, I found it hard to get around remembering dates in history, chemistry equations and the like. Greater the effort I made at remembering things, the more annoyed I would get. ‘This effort is simply a waste because I am going to forget all of this anyway’ I would think to myself.
This trait isn’t helpful in day-to-day activities. I remember one of the many instances where it got me into deep trouble. Graduate students at RIT were required to have counseling sessions with their graduate advisors. My own graduate advisor was a particularly interesting personality who also happened to be the department chair. As you can imagine, for someone holding two posts it was hard to get time with him.
In the run up to one of our first meetings, I had an absorbing assignment due for my distributed systems class. Working late night and through the day was a usual and my 3’o’clock with my advisor was conveniently forgotten. A couple of hours after the appointment time had come and gone, my memory nodes activated and a feeling of sheer terror came over me.
I immediately ran up to his office and apologized giving my assignment as an excuse and rescheduled another appointment.
Needless to say I missed that one too.
I am fortunate that I can look back at those days and have a laugh as my advisor didn’t completely turn his back on me.
I am also fortunate to live in a time where my calendar ensures that I get a SMS notification and a popup on my laptop screen so that I am mindful about my appointments. And yet my laziness continues to persist.
Trust me, this is not an endearing trait. To my credit, I have forgotten birth dates of my near & dear ones, credit card payment dates and anything else that has a date and time attached to it, is important or unimportant. At one time, I have even forgotten what my signature ought to look like.
Every occasion has left me with a sense of guilt. Should having to rely on Facebook to remind you your friends birthdays make you question your sincerity? To play the devil’s advocate, I have also observed that I do remember some things very well, over others as if they have been at the top of my mind all the time.
Above all of that, the true challenge I have found is that for someone who can forget so easily – forgetting the ‘self’, that just does not seem to happen spontaneously at all!