N is for Nostalgia

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If a shark is pulled backward, it drowns and dies.


Nostalgia kills.


Essentially, memory is a shakey thing. Many things affect memory: mood states, context, (List of memory biases)

fun story: context dependent memory.

if a supervisor asks me what my login id is away from my desk, I have no functional idea, generally, after an awkward pause, probably some “um’ing” and drooling,  i give them my id from a tech I was in like… six years ago, for a year. Probably if you held a gun to my head and asked me what that id was, I’d have no idea, in another situation.


I will have you know that I have zero issues with this at my desk.

related: state dependent memory

Why do we generally focus on positive memories rather than negative ones?  This question was explored in a paper in the November, 2012 issue of Psychological Science by Benjamin Storm and Tara Jobe.  They point out that many people have a reasonably positive self-image.  To keep up that self-image, it is helpful to focus on positive memories.  In order to focus on positive memories, though, it is important both to promote your ability to retrieve positive information as well as to damp down or inhibit the negative memories.

Why Does the Past Seem Happy?

depression and memory loss

One of the fun-side effects of aging is that (typically) your memories from the past seem to be more positive than your current reality. You’re gas-lighting yourself, eternally. ❤

So fun personal details: My memory isn’t great at this stage of my life, if something alarms me is my fuck-y memory of events. Like I knew this girl since middle school, we dated and lived together after we graduated high school, and lived together for five years… I don’t remember much of it, and what I do remember is just like…weird.

Add in my tendency toward chaotic side missions in life, and I pretty much feel like central wisconsin is a disease after 8+ months in milwaukee.

I do remember a lot though, and talking to friends about memory, and shit they don’t remember helps. Had an extensive issue with blackout drinking for a long stretch of life, combine this with anxiety and just, like, every time I lose my keys I think it’s the beginning of dementia, basically.  SUPER FUN WAY TO LIVE LIFE, GUYS.

I feel like some abnormal psychology grad student’s prize research subject at this point. Test Subject Zero.

Feel bad that there’s some (unhealed) stuff, but…

Kind of a fun discovery to find out what I’m like as a sober, has-legit-responsibilities, single person. Oh, yeah, the answer to this question is “horribly introverted and overly serious”. Ahaha. :p


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