As a general rule, I tend to forget information I don’t use on a regular basis. I have learned and forgotten the steps of the citric acid cycle several times. Nevertheless, the cycle keeps on chugging away in the mitochondrial matrices of of my cells, generating precious ATP, despite my not remembering all the steps. I no longer use this information in my day-to-day life, so it has been swept into some dark, cobwebbed corner of my brain that is not easily accessible.
Then there are the things that I never meant to remember for longer than I needed them but persist in the forefront of my mind, taking up valuable brain space that might better be used for other things like what was it I meant to retrieve when I decided to go upstairs or what did I plan to make with this spinach I purchased? Probably the best example I can provide of useless information that seems to be forever locked into my brain’s prime real estate is my seventh grade locker combination. I haven’t needed to access this series of numbers on a regular basis since seventh grade, which was, mumblemumblecoughsnort years ago, but still, the locker combination is there easily retrieved: 12 – 34 – 18.
Some day, hopefully many, many years from now, on my death bed, I may mumble this series of numbers. It’s not my Rosebud, not remorse over a lost childhood. It’s just me, trying to rid myself of this information once and for all.