Memories, they aren’t what they seem.

Have I shared that I’m a terrible writer? Not sure if I have.

I’ve been told my entire life that I’m a terrible writer. From teacher to parent this lesson has been consistent. And those who have had to edit my writing for work purposes will most likely second this statement. But maybe I was never writing. Or if I was, I was writing like I thought a writer should. 

Now I just talk so I can remember. So I can read it later.

And when I read it, I do remember. Sometimes I’ve forgotten the entire event and it has only been 10 weeks. Not sure if that is normal. I never recorded my learnings before. Maybe this is my active memory rate. Or maybe in trauma, your memory is less. 

But maybe not. Maybe its all of us.

I watched a Netflix documentary on memory. Turns out we all have pretty terrible memory or better said inaccurate memory. We remember things the way we want to or rather the way we are told to. Other people’s memories or images on TV morphing with your own experience. And voila! A new version. In total a fabrication, but in pieces some truth. But yet they feel your own. They feel all real and you would swear factual.

History clearly doesn’t have a memory. Or the shared experience is written in textbooks and voila, new history.

I remember one night Steve and me were talking about trickle-down economics. You know when life had room for such random discussions. We realized that we had no idea if that was a proven theory that is so often quoted. He had actually just used it in an argument. Turns out that it has never worked. Now it may have been due to execution, but I tend to agree with the readings we read, nope, that is a fallacy. A fallacy that is still reported as fact and something to strive to.  I lived this “fact” myself. I was once a believer in trickle-down economics. I applied it to my career. Help create best practice school for the wealthy and the entire world would benefit. Practices shared. Yet to see that. Yet to see that.

But the record that is now repeating makes me sick. History repeating itself. When do we learn? Even memories of death, we forget OR rather are told to forget even in the face of science and data.  We buy in to the narrative. The glossy one right in front of us.

You know that we successfully produced an entire generation of non-smokers. We did it! It took two decades and countless crusaders (including my hero Mary Lasker), but the Millennials (and at one time gen Z) were disgusted this habit. They knew better. We had taught them. We had fought. No longer were there commercials for cigarettes, nor sexy build boards. It was anything, but cool.

But here we are again. 

OKAY. I ‘m going to say it. I smoke.

Not a lot, but I do. I can feel your judgement from here and it is WELL deserved.

I was seduced by that whole vaping thing. I bought into the bullshit. Vaping is “safer.” I bought it and then I saw how cute they were. So little. How could this hurt. And BAM smoking and this time unlike college, I had little knowledge of how much I was smoking. Those cartridges are so small. What could it be?

It can be a lot.

I only share now because I’ve stopped and I’m holding myself accountable. Public shaming. That should work. Feeling pretty shamed and I haven’t even published.

It was hard to quit when stressed like this, but I did. And its crazy to say that it was hard. How can it be hard when all I do is read the research and talk to doctors?! While Steve’s type of cancer is not caused by smoking, my husband did have LUNG cancer! Steve’s doctor a thoracic surgeon, is seeing more teenagers than ever. I’ve heard his stories. And just like big tobacco fought by trying to say it wasn’t that bad…here we go again. BUT PLEASE. You know. We know. They know. Here we are AGAIN. Another BAD deal! More evil to be released. More disease.

I know I am to blame for my decisions, but I also place blame on the vaping companies as I see what they are doing to our children. I’ve worked in a school. I know that all these kids are vaping. All the kids that would never touch a real cigarette! That is “gross,” but vaping is cool. FUCK YOU vaping companies. Cool doesn’t just happen. It is a shared memory. The memory is created. BY YOU. I’ve never heard of fruit punch cigarettes before. SHAME ON YOU. Blood of our children (that includes yours), the generation now growing up with your product. Their lives in your hands. Blood. That cash that made you rich is a BAD deal and it was a BIG deal. It is a deal that affects humanity beyond your theoretical two parties (shareholders and distributors).

SHAME.

So here we go again…We have to start this fight all over again.

Like there wasn’t enough cancer already. Now our kids. Now I have to add a fight against vaping companies to my fight.

We need to recreate memories. FIGHT ACCEPTED.

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