Joey Coleman: Too Many People To Remember Them All

Too Many People To Remember Them All

It seems only fitting that my personal blog returns to its roots as a place I explore my human experience.

Tonight, I walked into the Mulberry Cafe, and there was a person sitting at the table across from the cash register who I recognized, my mind tells me I recently had a conversation with her, that it was positive, but I wasn't able to place the where or when.

This is not the first time of late, just the most recent. In 2013, when at the Canadian Opera Company, I confused a university president from one institution with the president of another one. (I at least recognized they were a university president, and in my defence, I was actually taking a "night off" attending the opera with a friend)

I'm gifted with amazing spatial memory; I can't remember names with any reliability, and in fact often confuse names when relaying stories.

Take, for example, my vivid recollection of the topography and buildings around the Woodstock Ontario VIA Rail station. In fall 2001, I was travelling on the VIA Train to the Canadian Forces Area Support Unit in London. As the train approached the station, the hill beside the station caused me to immediately recall the topography of the area, and I looked for the veterarian across the tracks. I had no conscious recollection of being there; turns out I was there around two-and-a-half years of age.

I've always relied upon my vivid recall of when, where, and how I felt the last time I saw a person to cover in conversation for my lack of recall as to their name.

Of late, this has been decreasing, I'm assuming because I'm meeting so many people in my various activities.

A personal growth challenge, and goal, for the coming 15 months is to find means of improving my non-spatial memory techniques to compensation, a different way of adjusting to early stages of conversation, or just plainly stating, I'm sorry I can't recall exactly who you are.