Beware the Ides of March (March 15). Remember the Alamo (March 6). The Day That Will Live in Infamy (December 7). The worst day in modern history is recognized only by the date (September 11). I understand why we memorialize tragedy on the calendar. Remembering the date helps us to remember who we lost.
But what about personal losses? Specifically, why am I compelled to remember every bad thing that ever happened to me whenever I glance at my telephone?
- The day of the car wreck? CHECK
- The broken leg? CHECK
- The divorce? CHECK
These dates aren’t worth memorializing, so why can’t I forget?
A scientist would say, it’s a survival mechanism to protect us during our next altercation with a saber-toothed tiger.
A historian would say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
A masochist would say, bring it on and lean into it, or as that troubadour John Cougar Mellencamp sang, “Hurt so good.”
Oprah would say in her column “This I Know for Sure,” I more than the sum of my scars.
Disney Princess Elsa would belt above a full orchestra, “Let it go.”
But I can’t.
Maybe those dates are woven into the person I’ve become. They’re a reminder. I survived in spite of myself.