I recently saw Trance, a thriller about hypnotherapy, and a quote really stuck out to me. One of the characters said that throughout life we spend a certain amount of time and energy constantly trying to remember ourselves. It was something to that effect. I’m sure I’m butchering it a little. But it struck me because it wasn’t the typical “always remember who you are” line. It was about how people can literally forget themselves.
It makes sense. We go through so many changes. The world spins around us at such a fast pace it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Inevitably, people change. It has to happen and it’s a good thing for the most part. Forgetting yourself is not so desirable.
What do you do when you wake up one morning and realize that you are so far off course from the person you once were? What do you do if you’ve forgotten that person entirely?
A key to remembering yourself is through story.
I’m sure it’s not the only way. People say certain smells or sounds unlock memories from the past. But I’m not talking about unlocking a memory. I’m talking about unlocking a person’s values.
When my life gets a little too crazy or I have a life altering decision in front of me, I find myself craving certain stories that I grew up with. The one I almost always go back to is Anne of Green Gables. Whenever I feel like I have gone too far off track or I can’t remember myself, this story always brings me home.
It’s not just about remembering how you felt the first time you read or watched a story.
Yes, the music and the visuals will definitely help you remember how you felt the first time you became acquainted with a story. But it goes so much deeper than that. The reason you loved it in your childhood or whenever you first became acquainted with it was because of the values that were important to you at the time. The story probably struck a nerve with you because it hit so close to home with something you believed in. That’s how a story can refresh your memory of yourself.
With Anne of Green Gables, I identified with Anne’s ability to find beauty in small things in life. I found inspiration in her desire to work hard and excel in everything she did. It’s a tiny little world full of simplicity and honor. My world is noisy and busy. It’s so easy for me to forget what’s important to me. It’s so easy to forget myself if I’m not careful.
I love stories because the really great ones can always bring me back home.
What stories bring you back home?