Every time I smell fresh gasoline when pumping gas, I immediately think of being a child in Chicago. Isn't that funny? I'm transported back to simpler times, where all my meals were provided and I had no responsibilities other than getting good grades/being respectful. I would gleefully watch my father pump gas thru the car window. For some reason, I equated pumping gas with being an adult. I would inhale every time he opened his door to re-enter the car. Wafting scents of gasoline fragranced his clothes for a total of 6 full seconds.
Oh the power of sensory memory. Sensory memory is recalling an emotion, once experienced thru your 5 senses. What's more amazing about the brain is this memory could've been stored years ago but the feeling can be just as strong as when you ACTUALLY experienced it. Sensory memory is not consciously stored so we can't choose what to remember or for how long. Bummer. I'm sure we would all love to forget that one ex's scent.
For me, gasoline reminds me of being a child and admiring my papa who was "adulting". Our lives were so drastically different. His life seemed glamorous. Mine seemed to revolve around my favorite tv shows, birthday parties and cake. Always cake. I marveled at how cool he was to withdraw money out of an ATM. It was obvious to me that that machine just gives you however much money you want for free. (Has anyone ever seen one of those? Just asking for a friend!)
Saying all this to say, I indulge in those positive sensory memories because being an adult can have it's challenging moments. We are constantly bombarded with budgets, bills, appointments, deadlines, work, traffic, etc... I encourage you to take those moments whenever they come. Truth be told, some sensory moments hurt. You spot a stranger wearing a shirt your deceased loved one wore, a song plays on the radio that you listened to during a hard time in your life...these memories are understandably hard to embrace.
That is the ironic beauty of sensory memory. The moment enters with no welcome and exits quickly without a trace of its presence. Keep in mind sensory memories are generally fleeting and very sporadic. Trouble doesn't last always, not even in sensory memories. By chance, if one just so happens to transport you to a positive childhood experience, willingly take the trip. Soak up all the good vibes of carefree times. Afterall, we are just a bunch of big kids paying bills!