Updated: Jun 11, 2022
I'm notoriously bad with names and small details, with remembering the minutiae that comes with meeting new people or being in a new place. It's not that I'm not paying attention or that those details don't matter to me. More so it's that my brain latches onto bigger things, emotional things. I'll never remember the name of the woman I chatted with for two hours at a party, but I'll remember every feeling she expressed about her job, how she loves her cats, and the way she smiled at her partner. It's not that this way of remembering is faulty in any way. It's just different and at times socially unacceptable. I mean, who meets someone five times and truly enjoys their company and remembers the details of their relationship drama but not their name? Me. I'm working on changing that. On remembering the emotions and big sweeping tracts of a story as well as the small details of the day. Especially with this trip to Iraq, my first to a place that's more than just a vacation destination for my family, it's important. So I decided to use this space to help with that. Think of this as a newsletter of short notes, kind of like iPhone notes I've jotted down here and there. A snapshot of those short reflections is below. While I will share more edited, longform, deep dive-y pieces after I leave, I hope these little pieces give you a glimpse of this incredible place.