The Stuff No One Talks About

Today I found myself wondering how many things there must be in each of our lives that we never tell anyone. Have you ever thought about this? What percentage, I wonder, of what we feel, do, and think, do we keep completely to ourselves? Secrets are one thing, but I’m talking about those little things about life that we may love or hate, that we never tell anyone. Maybe its fear of being found out, or of others thinking we are strange. Maybe it just never crosses our mind to tell anyone about it. In any case, I still find it fascinating that there’s always a certain area of a person we never know. 


I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I wonder what people might think of me if they knew everything I thought and felt…At least until they looked in the mirror. Most things, I imagine, are harmless little quirks. Maybe its the weird things we love. For example, I love the smell of gasoline, I love to bite my fingernails when I’m trying to concentrate, etc…We all have weird things about us. Its usually these very things that end up driving the people closest to us crazy at some point. My mother used to get so angry with me because I would open and close cabinet drawers constantly. It drove her absolutely nuts. I constantly have to be fidgeting with something in order to pay attention to something that needs at least two thirds of my attention. If you knew what is going on inside my head, you would understand. 

One of the things I’ve realized about myself is that I have a very strong sense of smell/taste. Because of that abnormally strong sense of smell, I tend to associate all things with smell and taste, especially moments in my life. Every memory I have is associated with a smell or taste. I think thats why I’ve been thinking about this whole topic lately. Every time we transition into another season I’m always reminded so strongly of impressions from past memories that happened during that time of the year, some good, most bad. Lately there have been a few moments where I could swear autumn is just around the corner. Lower temperatures, low humidity, clear blue skies…its so close, yet so far. I walked outside the other day and I was was taken aback by the flood of feelings and impressions of past memories all at once. For the rest of the day I felt almost outside of my own skin, on edge, and didn’t really know why. As I analyzed myself more (because I analyze literally everything about everything), I realized I was feeling impressions from unsettling memories that had happened in the past around this time of the year, and it was creating feelings of anxiety and sadness that I wasn’t ready for. Its just like every time I walk outside on a cold winter night right after it rains, i’m immediately overcome with deep sadness from the very vivid memory of driving to my best friend’s family’s house right after I got the call that he had died. Every time I walk outside in the fall, I’m surrounded by memories of playing football, campfires, memorable relationships, and countless other memories I cherish, and also every bad memory to go along with them. 


My sense of smell is quite astonishing to me. Its amazing to me that one small scent could quite literally usher in a very convincing impression of every feeling I experienced in a period of my life. Its like someone opens a floodgate, and all of these memories I thought I had lost all come back at once, and I live them again, whether I like it or not. Its just like how every time I taste a chocolate pie I always remember getting terribly sick from eating too much chocolate pie at thanksgiving when I was 9. I didn’t eat chocolate again until I was almost 15 years old. Our sense of smell/taste can be a very influential sense to experience. 


Its amazing how our brain works if you really think about it (<<<funny and ironic statement). I never talk about the things I’m feeling when I’m reminded so strongly of these memories. Maybe I should talk about it more. Maybe if we talked about these hidden places in our lives more often, we’d find that we’re all much more alike that we realize. Maybe we’d actually become closer and learn to love each other again. 


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