Another night, another dream about the past. I hold Facebook responsible for placing old friends and memories into my subconscious mind. From what I can recall, last night’s dream was centered around a high school basketball game where many of my former teammates were present. Come to think of it, within this dream was another memory from all the way back from a fourth grade basketball game. Seriously, who remembers this kind of stuff?
After waking up this morning, I laid in bed for twenty minutes, attempting to fall back asleep, and my reminiscent mind was flying around in all kinds of directions. While part of me enjoyed thinking about these memories, truth be told, it’s also kind of painful. My friend, Matt (MT), used to tell me that I was running away. At the time I couldn’t see it this way, but now I know that he was absolutely right.
I just watched the trailer for Eat.Pray.Love. , starring Julia Roberts (based on a true story and novel by Elizabeth Gilbert). In the trailer the mother of the female lead character (Julia Roberts) says to her: “Oh my baby, always searching for something.”
Was she talking to me?
Anyways while my journey and life experience are different from hers, I easily see myself in her respective scenarios. It was hard to watch. While soul-searching is meant to bring (eventual) inner peace, serenity, assurance, and confidence, there is a long, exhausting process that one must go through to achieve such beauty. And when it all comes together, it is beautiful. It’s what keeps us going on the cold, rainy days. We know that there are better days to come, and we’ll appreciate them more because of the ones before.
The title of this blog struck me as fitting after choosing to write about this morning’s occurrence. (It’s a quote from the movie, Remember Me, which I’ve yet to see and hope it doesn’t disappoint.) While I found myself thinking about people from my past, I also inevitably wondered, have my fingerprints completely faded from others’ lives that I once touched? Do people think of me (every now and then) the way I think of them? And if so, how do they perceive me?
That’s the thing about Facebook that I really find daunting. You’re ‘friends’ with these people from your past, but how well do you really know one another years after the high school ‘friendship’ or ‘acquaintances’ runs its course? Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see a former classmate get engaged/married or become a mother/father. And I love catching up with an older friend over a few messages. However, with me being in Chicago and away from the Hampton social scene for 7-8 years now, that’s really where it ends. So other than Facebook status updates, Happy Birthday postings, and an occasion message here and there, how can we really still call these people from our past ‘friends’?
In this never-ending search that I seem to be on, I cannot help also wonder how others see me. For the most part I’ve learned to not care what other people think of me, but I am human so of course there are occasions every now and then. But it’s not the typical judgments and characterizing that I’m talking about, but rather what impact do I have one the lives of others? And maybe I should rephrase that because I don’t just mean my (real) friends and family members per say. But those acquaintance/friends that don’t really know you, and the people that you come across once in a blue moon.
Did my simple smile brighten the worst day of their life? Did I compliment their outfit and it just so happened to erase their “I feel fat in this” mentality? Did I talk with a little kid at the store and it made him feel like the most important person in the world?
It’s these little moments that make me who I am and brighten me day as well. Those barista/friends of mine constantly heighten my mood with their chit-chat, and I still remember Bradley who complimented my ‘cutest rainboots ever’. These simple gestures stay with you longer than you could ever expect. I mean here I am on Saturday night writing a post about these people, and they don’t even know it.
And let’s blame this on the glass of wine sitting next to me, but have my fingerprints faded from the lives that I may have once touched? I, myself, find that I commonly hold on to memories that I wish I could go back and change…(cough) Casey (cough) being the main one. Why don’t his fingerprints ever seem to fade? Will they ever? And better questions, have my fingerprints completely faded from him?
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)