My College Roommate Sent Me a Sketch of Myself–What a Memory

watercolor self portrait of gretchen

One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: “Always remember how easy it is to forget.”

I’ve tried a lot of things — keeping a one-sentence journal, taking tourist photos of my own romance — to help hang on to memories.

It’s funny, though, what can unleash a memory. A smell, for instance, can invoke memories very powerfully.

I had a rush of memory when Rebecca Lemov, one of my college roommates, emailed me this sketch. While looking through her dusty sketchbooks, she found this drawing of me. She also sent a photo of a note that I wrote to her around that time. (My handwriting hasn’t changed.)

Seeing the sketch brought back…such a feeling of college. I can’t even quite describe it. The atmosphere of that time of life. It was acute.

Have you ever come across an artifact like this, that brought back a flood of memories?

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