A couple years ago, I found this gem on Facebook:
I liked it then and I like it now, because I often wonder this. I think it’s because I myself have a nostalgic streak, as evidenced by the shelves of photo albums and scrapbooks I acquired before learning to keep my thousands of memories in a computer file. I have a 12 gallon tub that I call my “memory box,” full of birthday cards and ticket stubs and play programs. I’ve always held onto little mementos from the past, but mostly they come from people, or remind me of people. I have been fortunate enough to know some truly amazing people in my life, and each has left their own imprint on my heart. I think all people are impacted in this way, where small exchanges between other members of the human race leads to greater understanding of ourselves. What’s even more interesting is the impact we have on each other without even knowing.
Here are some examples: There are two writers I know, one whom I primarily follow on Twitter, one whom I primarily follow on Facebook. I have met both of them personally, but would classify them as “friends of friends.” What neither knows, is that I am silently supporting their every written word, because I am reading their thoughts and feelings and being driven to better express my own. These people have no idea that they exist in my life. It makes you wonder whose life you exist in.
A friend of mine from grade school commented on the picture I posted 2 years ago, saying that she thought of me every time she saw cows, as I am a fan of our bovine friends. I think of her whenever I see a black forest cake in the bakery section of the supermarket. We haven’t seen each other in over a decade, but we still exist in those small details.
I have an actress I remember whenever I look at the spider plant in my living room. She has no idea that little plant she gave me 7 years ago had 20 babies who now belong to all members of my family.
A teacher I think of every time I look at my dogeared well-read copy of Jane Eyre, who dosen’t realize that I was down on myself about writing until I took her class.
A family member whom I miss every time Big is on TV, because we watched it as kids, and wished Zoltar really did make dreams come true.
A childhood crush who pops in my head whenever I see pink carnations, which are decidedly my least favorite flower, but still I smile at them because of him.
An old friend I remember in certain fine snowfalls, when the snow looks like crystals and the sky is purple and orange.
A kid I sat for whose sweet face appears when I hear Cleopatra by The Lumineers on the radio, because I used to sing it to him to put him to sleep.
A best friend I text every time “Rocket Man” comes on the radio. Because that’s our personal inside joke jam.
These tiny memories connect us. I don’t know what small details people remember about me, but I can tell you that if I’ve met you, I remember you, and your impact may be greater than you think. With the advent of social media, we have become more available to each other. It has become easier to find these little connections, and yet we still find ourselves hiding behind keyboards half the time. I’m going to make a conscience effort to make more memories like this, as I feel that the past few years have been a bit of a void. This is of course off topic and a much deeper post, but depression makes you pull away from life, and I absolutely did. If I’m honest though, it’s these little thoughts that got me though tough times. It make you believe that there’s always someone out there thinking of you. Our connection to each other is what keeps us growing, and should be remembered and cherished, even if its a song on the radio or the smell of rain.