Telling memories from thoughts or imaginings can be really difficult. Truthfully there is no concrete difference between a memory and thought except that one happened, and one didn’t. The honest answer is to tell them apart, for me- I tend to play it by ear.
I feel like memories are more vivid in some way, or more upsetting or nostalgic, but its not a hard and fast rule. Also the ones I’d call memories are the ones that turn up in my mind more than once. I think about them sometimes? they come up in my mind the way memories from this life do. Something happens, or something reminds me of it and I think of it again.
I find that my kin memories ‘feel’ about the same as distant memories from when I was young. I have a lot of memories that have other senses to them, which is partially how I tell the difference because if I’m making something up, it takes time to sort of build in the elements. That isn’t to say that you can’t have true memories that aren’t just visual, or just sound, or even just a physical feeling.
I have a memory from my life as Ken that’s very important to me, and yet very inconsequential. Its a single moment.
It was when I was young, at the apartment in Odaiba, high up on the 10th floor. Standing on the balcony while it was raining. I can remember the smell, and the distant sound of traffic, and the sound of the rain falling. The grey color of the sky over the skyline, and the chill on my skin. I remember feeling calm, and peaceful, and a little sad. I remember the shiny beige tile of the balcony, and mom’s sad little potted plants on the edge. I remember I was barely tall enough to see over them.
Its a sad, quiet little memory, and it doesn’t really mean anything. But its near, and dear to my heart, and I think of it sometimes when I hear the rain.