My greatest fear used to be being forgotten. I feared my identity was tied to the memories that others held of me. I imagined my existence as a bubble floating through the thoughts of others until the bubble finally popped, and I in all senses of the world ceased to exist.
Recent encounters have popped the membrane of my fragile self-image. Reconnecting with people long left in the history of youth has brought the sleeping lioness of my inner-self to surface. I feel more alive than I have in years. As my soul holds hands with those that I’ve missed, I’m learning not only about my friends, but about who I truly am deep within the confines of my own mind. Through their eyes, through their memories, I walk again down the streets, and through the halls of my youth, my memories, experiences that I wish to bury, and many that I long to resurface and feel again.
Through these connections, I am comforted by not having to constantly reintroduce myself, explain my quirks, or stumble through small talk, and banter that leaves me feeling as hollow as a dollar store chocolate bunny in May.
These people that have re-entered my life know me on levels that I have long forgotten myself. They have taught me to forgive my indiscretions, to build on my strength, and most importantly to recognize the truth of the person that I am. I feel as though I am casting off cement as thick as a quarter century of build up and finally exposing my true thoughts, and feelings. I am, like a swimmer breaking the surface tension of water to take a breath, emerging.
Time ticks on teaching me that I haven’t been forgotten. Not dancing through the daily thoughts of a connection does not mean that I’ve stopped existing, it simply means that my interactions could well have been the groundwork influencing other people’s lives, hopefully in positive ways.
I find it fascinating to play in my friends’ memories and find hidden gems of interactions that I have misplaced. Sometimes I blush in deep embarrassment, other times I shy with regret. Most of the time, I’m grateful for the shared connections, and memory renewals.
One interaction several weeks ago made me realize however, that in truth, I don’t fear being forgotten…I fear being remembered for the wrong reasons. In this particular situation, I’m grateful to have been forgotten…