When I went to college a new place with tens of thousands of new people barraged my senses. I remember seeing a familiar figure ahead of me and thinking, "There's Eliza!"
But wait, wasn't Eliza in college somewhere across the country? Yep, my mind had tricked me.
It's been happening now. I'll see someone's curly head leaving a store. "Isn't that girl in my Sunday School class?"
Doubtful, unless she drives/flies from Connecticut all the way to Houston Texas to go to Target.
This happens to me all the time. I can't help but wonder if my mind longs to connect, so it makes these associations. I didn't love the book You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, Heather Sellers memoir about being "face blind," but the concept intrigued me. Something in her brain didn't put facial features together in a way that allowed her to connect their faces to her association with them.
I wonder if I have the opposite of that? Perhaps my brain that is overwhelmed with "new" is trying desperately to find the familiar?