Memories.

Isn’t it funny how memories work? What your brain recalls, what it chooses to forget… For some reason I’m not really sure of, my family and I, particularly my mother, have been discussing our memories and pasts recently and it brought up some concepts related to memory that always intrigue me.

My first memory is from when I was three or four years old. My twin brother and I were about to star in a fashion show at nursery, and he was so excited that he ran, on a rainy, overcast day, misjudged where the door was, and smashed his nose on the stone wall outside. I always insist to Mum it was the Christmas party we ended up missing out on, because I remember taking his present home with me and giving it to him, but Mum’s equally insistent it was the fashion show. I’m fairly certain he didn’t miss out on both events, so either he did miss the Christmas party after all, or the present was a gift for participating (or in his case, not, as it turned out) in the fashion show.

I wonder whether it’s because it was such a dramatic event that it sticks in my mind (it’s my brother’s first memory as well). Dramatic, or traumatic, events in people’s lives tend to be recalled more easily even at a very early age (though three or four isn’t actually remarkably early as far as I can tell). This is where Mum comes in. When she was a toddler, she had lots of problems with her hips and ended up in plaster casts on her entire lower half, and spent a lot of time in hospital at around two years old.

She remembers those days very vividly, whereas I can’t recall being two at all. The details she offers are almost trivial; for example, sitting with an ice cream in the sun after the staff opened the blinds right up. She remembers the pain, and her visitors. I suspect that if this hadn’t happened to her she wouldn’t remember being two either, although I am aware of some people’s memories stretching back that far even without something major occurring then.

I myself remember tedious details about my own hospital stay at five years old, like insisting to my dad I didn’t like Crunchie bars, but when he convinced me to have one I loved them, but then I can’t even remember my teacher coming to visit with a card signed by my classmates, which happened. There’s tons of stuff in my early teens I remember, but some of it only comes to me when prompted by seeing a written account, or finding an object which brings it all flooding back. It’s interesting thinking about what you can and can’t remember – someone’s name, even someone’s existence, or what you were wearing during an event – and also how you remember it, e.g. recalling something of your own accord or requiring a prop to stimulate those memory banks.

I used to have an online journal, which is really good for looking back on moments that were so unimportant that I ended up forgetting them, but which turn out to be interesting upon reflection later. I am considering beginning a journal again, but either on paper or on the computer, and one only I view. There are tons of pros and cons to having an online journaling presence, which is an idea for another blog post, and for the moment, for a few reasons, I’d prefer to have my own private space (I plan to use my blog for musing on specific topics, a bit like this post, rather than day-to-day activity). Writing down day-to-day events and feelings is a great way to look back on things and recall what would otherwise have been lost from your mind forever, or, as is sometimes the case, popping up in your head randomly and unexpectedly!

I don’t really know where I was going with this, but the subject’s just been on my mind for a few days. I just thought I’d ramble a bit about it.

What was your first memory?

Until next time,
Sascha x

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Hair be gone!

After ruminating on the issue for a loooong time, I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do – I got a pixie cut! Throughout my childhood, my hair was always long (at one point reaching my butt) and then I started to get shorter. When I started university, it was as short as my chin. But I’d never really thought about a pixie cut except for saying, which I often have, “one day I’ll cut all my hair off, just to be able to say I did it!” I still say the same about shaving my hair, which I probably won’t have the guts to do for a lifetime!

I began to think seriously about a pixie maybe a year ago at the most, which mostly stemmed from my intense frustration with my hair. I love having long hair, but it’s that dastardly combination of very thick hair with fine individual strands, which has led to a lot of knots and tugs. It also barely holds a curl at all, which is a massive disappointment for me, since my hair is pretty much perfectly straight!

Very very tired of splitting my hair into two halves in order to wash it (otherwise, 99% of the time I end up missing spots with the shampoo and my hair ends up looking icky and weird) and having it get caught underneath my bag strap, and in my hoodies, and tired of the knots, et cetera… and with the encouragement of both my brother and a good friend, I booked the appointment at Liza Konu Hairdressing, a salon near me.

This is my hair before the cut…

…and this is after!

I was very very surprised not to shed even one tear, since I’m so emotional a person in general! But as soon as one of the ponytails came off, all I felt was relief. It already felt liberating, and I was happy to see that I would suit a shorter style, after all! I knew what I didn’t want, and I told Liza some of those things, but more or less let her work her magic and I was so pleased with the result. In the end it wasn’t even the type of cut I had had in mind; it was better!

A whole thirteen inches was cut, which I’m donating to the Little Princess Trust, a charity here in the UK which makes wigs for children who have lost their hair, whether from chemotherapy and or from alopecia. Both causes are dear to my heart, as I have loved ones and friends who have suffered from these diseases, and I am so glad to have been able to contribute something to help. Despite all the disadvantages my hair gave such a low-maintenance person like me, I really wanted to let someone else get as much happiness from my hair as I did.

It’s been four days since the cut, and I am in LOVE. Nothing is better than getting up in the morning and only needing to run my fingers through my hair (or a quick dusting of volumising powder). It doesn’t get in my way at all. I’ve had so many compliments from friends and family and every time I catch my reflection I’m basically punching the air! So many people say that once you join the Short Hair Club, you never go back, and right now, though of course I’m still experiencing the novelty, I can see that being true! I can’t believe how afraid I was of getting a pixie cut, and I really should have done it sooner! I adore it. I’m excited to really get creative with styling it, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how different clothing and makeup will look.

Until next time,
Sascha

Many thanks to Liza Konu Hairdressing (based in Perth, Scotland) for the cut and photographs. Link to her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liza-Konu-Hairdressing/356228671147614

Link to the Little Princess Trust website: http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk