Emotion, Memory, and Quality

I met my wife just over 3 years ago.  On the anniversary itself, which was just a couple of weeks ago or so, she reminded me that it had been 3 years since, and we shared a nice moment between us and I reflected on how much I appreciate having met her.  Of course, we met at almost the same time as an event which shook me to my core, leaving me more depressed and emotionally raw then I have probably ever been, and which had stuck with me for many months (and to some extent, years) afterwards.

I have written about the events in question previously, and even had a now non-existent post about the event itself a few days after, but I found further evidence, just now, for how much emotion affects one’s perception of reality.  I made a video, about 3 years ago now, that was intended for an ex girlfriend of mine to see (I don’t know if she ever saw it).  It was a video which was created in a fever of creative energy based upon a dream I had woken up from.  The creation was an extremely emotional event, and was cathartic in many ways, even though I didn’t understand it then.  No, I will not embed that video here.

Upon finishing this video, I saw it as a sort of great achievement; it moved my deeply and I was unable to delete it from my hard drive even long after it was clear to me that the lost relationship was never to be restored.  The video involved a song–which was part of the dream–in the background, and ever since then that song has had an important emotional affect on me.  In a sense, this video was a great achievement, as it was the first step I took in healing from this loss, and it was not long after that Ginny and I were quite obviously moving towards being together as a couple.  She is a woman who saw me at my worst and helped carry me out of the darkness.

So, tonight while sitting around Polybar Galactica with Gina having some drinks and talking about quantum mechanics, chemistry, and relativity (like you do), the song in question comes up on my computer, which is randomly playing music for u while we pretended to know what we were talking about.  The song, as soon as I notice it, punched me in the stomach (figuratively), and I used my phone to skip to the next song (because Polybar Galactica exists in the future where you can control your computer with your phone) so I could allow the emotional tumult to pass by not listening to that beautiful but painfully mnemonical song (a link just in case you just have to know what song it is).

But then, right after Gina went to bed (because she has a job that involves getting up early and shit) I have this intellectual curiosity to watch this video, which is still on my hard drive.  I wanted to see if I would still feel as vulnerable and sad watching it now as the last time I watched it, which may have been 2 years ago or so.  I was prepared to be emotionally ruined for a few minutes, reminded of the pain that engulfed my life 3 years ago, but that’s not what happened.

So, here’s what did happen.  I smiled and even laughed.  Not comically, like at the gross inadequacy of the video-editing skills (although they are mediocre at best),  but because the images in the video reminded me of good times.  I remember having fun with and loving this girl who tore my heart out so long ago.  I remember her fondly, despite all that happened, and I was able to watch this video without the pain I prepared for.  And I was able to reminisce about some times long gone, with only a tough of bittersweet (which I think is appropriate).

But, perhaps more interestingly, I noticed how not-awesome the video was.  It made me grossly aware that my previous opinion of the quality of this video was intricately and intimately tied to the emotions involved with it.  Emotions which have changed, faded, and perhaps forgotten.  Emotions have a real affect on both memory and perception, and now that the raw emotions have faded away, the quality of the video was perceived, tonight, as appropriately mediocre (at best).

Ginny and I back in Atlanta, after I healed some.
Ginny and I back in Atlanta, after I healed some.

But what has not faded over time, but rather grown, is the other thing that happened 3 years ago.  Ginny, I love you dearly, and I am happy that you are my wife. Thank you for all you have done for me, and all you continue to do.  I live a charmed life.

And thank you, Gina, for sitting with my at Polybar Galactica while talking about things we have no idea about while I make you chocolate martinis.  Also, for being awesome and stuff.

I want to leave with a direct quote from what is on my Google calendar from the date that the event happened.  I don’t remember when I added this note, but it is true, even for this heathen:

Saturday, January 16th, 2010:

All hell falls upon me…and an angel was there to catch me before i fell into its depths



Also, if you missed this previously, you need to read this post (which also mentions the evil Seana event, which is why I was reminded of it right now), because it is me channeling Gina’s hilariousness in a way that I am not sure I can replicate again.  I made myself laugh. Wait, i do that all the time.

You know what? Never-fucking-mind!