Last night, Sidney and I sat down on the couch to watch a movie. Called “Wild Horses,” the film starred Robert Duvall and James Franco. I thought it was okay, Sidney couldn’t stay awake. But the movie itself is an afterthought in all of this.
During a scene at the start of the film when Robert Duvall rides his horse to the Texas/Mexico border to settle a disagreement, I suddenly had a vivid memory flood my head. I was taken back to when I was probably four or five years old at the most. I was underneath these old, green metal bleachers at a large field that sat between a middle school and an elementary school. I was playing underneath the bleachers by myself while my mom sat on one of the rows below me, watching my sister. The sights, sounds, and smells were all immediately brought back to me at that minute as I sat on the couch.
The funny thing is, I don’t think I had thought of that moment since when it actually happened over 20 years ago.
Now I know there must be a psychological term and explanation for this (besides a flashback) but I didn’t want to Google it and take away some of the luster of this blog post. To be completely honest, this has happened to me on multiple occasions in the past few years. I will be engaged in some normal activity when something is triggered in my brain and a completely random thought from a couple decades ago takes over.
Another example would be the transportation of my mind back to when I drank grape juice in my mom’s kitchen during a point in my toddler years. My focused self at work seemed to just float away and a scene from the past took over. Suddenly I could remember everything from the taste of the juice to the color of the plastic cup (red) to the design on the kitchen tiles. Again, I had never even scratched the surface of remembering this memory for years until it all came to me at once.
What I find fascinating about these random thoughts is that they come out of nowhere when I am fully conscious and seem to be triggered while I am engaged in meaningful activity. Why would a Robert Duvall movie take me back to playing under the bleachers in overgrown grass? Why would sitting in a meeting cause my brain to fetch a scene of me drinking grape juice?
I guess you could call these flashbacks but they aren’t really what I have understood flashbacks to be. I go from a non-stressful moment in the present to a non-stressful moment in the past. The moment in the past is the first time I ever remembered it since it had happened. It doesn’t necessarily weird me out, it just makes me think.
Does this ever happen to you? Mind you these thoughts always come when I am wide awake and take over my brain with vivid detail. I find this all very interesting and I am excited to see what insignificant moment of my past I get to experience next. Don’t Blink.