I’m now on Facebook! I’m finding it a curiously fascinating window onto my own psyche.
I’ve greatly enjoyed trying to find people from my past, but I’ve noticed some interesting reactions in myself as I do so. First, due to my family having moved so much, city to city, through almost all of my youth, I find I cannot recall names the way some people I know can. I have at least one housemate, for example, who can tell me the name of every teacher he had from kindergarten to graduation from high school.
I find this astonishing. If someone asked me the name of my kindergarten teacher, I’d have to stop, figure out what year that was, figure out the closest year that had some strong geographic memory attached to it (i.e. “I celebrated my tenth birthday in Spain, so that year was definitely in Spain” or “I remember being in Gainesville when Cindy was born, and she’s about two and a half years younger than me, so it must’ve been [X] year then”), and then work backwards through family moves and my memory until I got to the appropriate year — if I could. Frankly, there are some places I barely remember, which means my memory of the associated people is either very weak or non-existent.
Which leads me to my second interesting personal revelation: there are certain times I remember much, much better than others — apparently I made far stronger connections in some places than I did in others. No surprise there, I’m sure… except that I didn’t realize I was doing so at the time. It’s fascinating now to look back and see for which times I have names come bubbling up easily to my memory, and for which I am drawing pretty much a complete blank. The pattern seems to be: good connections in times when I was making some huge change in my life, i.e. when I finally learned some social graces in high school and had the courage to talk to more than just one “bestest” friend, or when I first joined the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) — times like that.
This also means, however, that I’m having some difficulty remembering the names of people previous to, oh, about high school. I can think of three girls (then — they’d be women now, of course), coming from grade school and middle school, who I’d really love to reconnect with… but I have no idea where I’d start looking for them, considering how much we moved. Each one of them was in a different part of the country when I knew them, after all. Add to that the fact that my graduating high school class was almost 1200, and the class after it was even larger, and I can kind of understand why my brain didn’t struggle too hard to remember the horrendous number of faces and names I’ve seen and known through my life. It does make it somewhat of a bummer, however, when I want to try to find some of those old friends!
There’s also the fact that several of the high school names I’ve managed to pull up from memory are either female (meaning often that they’ll now have a different surname — don’t get me started on that rant just now! :), or they simply aren’t on Facebook, and I don’t know how to contact them. Fortunately, having a unique name means it’s easier for them to find me, if they care to. :)