I was watching a Jimmy Fallon clip today with Lionel Richie (which was very funny), and immediately after watching it, I felt sad. I grew up with Lionel Richie. I watched his videos on MTV. He was young and new and I was young and free.
I wanted to go back…just for a visit.
I wanted to lay on the couch in my neon socks and watch the Thriller video with my friends.
I wanted to take the bus to the mall and buy Duran Duran buttons for my jean jacket.
I wanted to wear two Swatch watches.
But I can’t go back. Ever. And it made me sad.
In the movie Inside Out, we saw the warehouse that holds all of our memories. The one’s that we don’t access begin to vanish. The ones that we may need to access sit on a shelf and can be found when we look hard enough. But the really, really good memories become core memories. They are the foundation of who we are today.
It’s impossible to go back to time of great joy (or great sadness), but what we can do is bring the big memories with us. I don’t know what I ate for breakfast on October 7th, 2011, that memory has vanished forever, but I will always remember the day I spent with my nephew driving and talking…just the two of us. I’ll never forget how uncomfortable my pregnant sister was watching Forrest Gump, only to see her firstborn through the window of the hospital nursery the following day. I’ll never forget dancing with my friends in a dark, crowded teen dance club.
Those memories all came with me.
So, my advice to you is not to make good memories, but to make great ones. Don’t squander your time away flipping endlessly through twitter or binge watching a tv show, just so you can move on to another.
Make memories. Do interesting things.
Have great conversations about things that matter to you. Help someone at their exact moment of need. Spend lots and lots and lots of time with your friends. Listen to people. Make things. Do things. Change things. Visit new places. Try different hobbies to discover that you love them, or hate them. Make mistakes.
What you do today will go with you. You will carry it around like a suitcase. It’s up to you whether your suitcase is packed with vibrant memories or just ribbons of what could have been.
You can never go back. Today will be gone. My question to you is….what will you bring with you?