The Italian poet, Cesare Pavese, is attributed to have coined this: “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” This quote is very true as most humans cannot remember a full day, only key moments on certain days. The only exceptions are the few persons like Jill Price who can remember entire days of their lives. Sadly, we do not all have this gift (or curse?) of never forgetting, so it’s best we make good memories that would stay by our side all our days.
Yesterday marked another year in my life and what an interesting year it has been! In previous years I grumbled about whoever began the tradition of replying to each and every birthday wish on Facebook, but this year I finally fell in line and dumped (temporarily?) the spirit of non-conformism. After replying to posts and messages last night and this morning, I posted the now traditional vote of thanks:
“November 27 is special to me; if not for anything else, it reminds me of how little I have gone in this journey of life and how much more is left to achieve.
Special thanks to everyone who took time to help make the day special. I love you in a good kind of way. You know the way I mean, right?
Here’s to living a life of purpose and accomplishing great things as we move on”
We really need to thank Lord Zuckerberg for creating a new suite of online customs. However, that’s not the point of this article. Looking back at my life so far, I can see a learning process that has taken me through different stages. In 2014, I wrote a birthday article, “A Time to Learn”. In there, one paragraph reiterates the need for continuous learning:
“An adage says that change is constant. How else can a person’s life change without learning, unlearning and relearning? Without learning, decay sets in as life becomes static.”
Sincerely, learning as the days go by is essential if one must have a sensible life. I look at some things that irritate me now and realise there was a time when I did such. Several times, I have rebuked younger siblings for using “internet spellings” like “d”, “4”, “bcos” and others on social media sites. To the present me, using such spellings advertises effective illiteracy at the best, and irresponsibility when viewed in a stricter lens. However, thanks to Facebook’s reminder about old posts, I’ve seen posts up until at least 2012 where I used the same spellings I now passionately condemn. Maybe time really does change people, and maybe I really need to allow people to have their growing space.
In a group chat yesterday, someone appreciated “your emotional Intelligence and the way you are able to calm a tense atmosphere”. I smiled because while my IQ has not usually faced any doubt, emotional quotient has been a struggle for me. In fact, as recent as earlier this year, someone complained that “Jonah lacks emotional awareness”; a result of being blunt and idealistically forgetting that humans are emotional beings. However, I have made efforts to improve in this area, which must have triggered the adulation that began this paragraph.
In all areas, Jonah has changed and is continuously changing. My WhatsApp status for over a year now has simply declared that I am “in an iterative process of development”—learning, unlearning and relearning, with the understanding that there would never be a point where there would be nothing to change or I become above making mistakes. One mistake in a million chances is still a mistake, no matter how small it may seem. So, change I would change, and grow I must grow.
I could have concluded in the preceding paragraph, but I felt like adding something that has crossed my mind recently. I have gone through five different levels of formal schooling, yet I do not think I have reached a third of my life. Compared to the number of years left, it seems I’ve gone nowhere. Maybe I need to chat with nonagenarians to ask how they managed living and still finding a reason to live. Anyway, like Uncle Job would say, “I know my redeemer lives”. As long as God walks with me, I’ll go through the rest of my days smashing milestone after milestone and making sticky memories.
Here’s to living a life of purpose and accomplishing great things as we move on.
…and now, for some curated memories