My episodic memory is pretty good, but spotty. I can remember things going back to my toddler years. I started trying to remember events of my life when I was about eight years old when I realized that most adults didn’t remember what it was like to be a child anymore, and had the foresight as a gifted kid to try to “record” my memories for my future self so this wouldn’t be my fate (it worked!). My idea of my unfathomably ancient future self, in my mind at the time, was me-at-forty, lol, and here I am at nearly 60, still quite easily remembering my internal states as a kid.
I did this, too: When I was maybe ten, I read the Little House books, assumed they were all based on memory (not knowing that Wilder did some fictionalizing), and wanted to be able to do the same thing when I got older. So I asked my psychologist to hypnotize me to remember everything. I also started writing down everything, in diaries and letters and journals, and then backing them up: typing them, copying them, saving them on computers, locking them in fireproof vaults. As I got older, saving e-mails became a new way of remembering. Nowadays, I do my saving electronically, which is much easier to find room for and access at will.
So just like Nerad, I can remember many things from as far back as age one because I was determined to remember them. I wrote down many old memories into Word Perfect; there are many things I’ve forgotten which I remember by looking back through these journals. They are valuable to me, no matter if anybody else cares about the things I write about. Even if nobody reads much of the memoirs I’ve posted here on my website, they are there for me to re-read and search through whenever I want to remember something.
And yes, I remember vividly what it was like to be a kid, to be a teenager, even at the ripe old age of 47. 😉 So when I see somebody my age post a comment online like, “Back in MY day, we didn’t act up in class/disrespect our parents/act like today’s spoiled rotten kids/etc. etc.,” I can say, “Um, yes, you did. You were just as bad. Spanking didn’t stop you.”
Too bad I can’t post a reply to Nerad. I mean, I could, but this person’s comment was posted two and a half years ago….